The Gillick Brothers planning application to develop the Chivers Jam Factory site on Coolock Drive was presented to Dublin councillors at a North Central Area Committee on the 20 May 2019.
The presentation was called:
Demolition of existing buildings, construction of 495 no. Build to Rent apartments, creche, cafe, gym and associated site works. Former Chivers Factory Site, Coolock Drive, Coolock, Dublin 17.
Immediately, Councillor John Lyons called it outrageous.
‘Myself and all other North Central area councillors rezoned the land to allow for residential development but we were promised affordable housing and sensible density: three-hundred-and-fifty affordable units at reasonable heights.
‘We rezoned it because we have a housing crisis; we rezoned it knowing that the value of the land would go through roof but we rezoned it because we need residential development. And with the state refusing to seriously intervene and directly build the housing we need, we were presented with a proposal by private developers to provide much-needed housing.
‘Now we find the developers want to lash in 495 Build-To-Rent dwellings and go as high as 19.75 metres, 27.8 metres and 30 metres above ground. Our development plan currently states that the maximum height should be no more than 16 metres.
‘The developers have completely taken the piss here, quite unsurprising but nonetheless shocking to see it actually happen.
The planning application will bypass the planning authority and go straight to An Bord Pleanala. And remember that recent appointments of the Minister for Housing’s former principal planner and assistant secretary general as the new Planning Regulator and chairman of An Bord Pleanála respectively.
‘Local representatives and local communities are being actively marginalised, and the planning process is being politicised and shaped by Fine Gael in the interests of private capital.
‘We will have to fight this insulting development and demand a more sensible and sensitive development.’