In­dus­trial es­tates could be re­zoned for homes

Dublin city coun­cil­lors will be asked to con­sider mass re­zon­ing of lands Tall apart­ment blocks can be built fol­low­ing re­moval of height caps

The Irish Times - - Front Page - OLIVIA KELLY Dublin Cor­re­spon­dent

Dublin city’s in­dus­trial es­tates could be re­placed by thou­sands of homes un­der large-scale mass re­zon­ing plans from Dublin City Coun­cil to tackle the cap­i­tal’s hous­ing cri­sis.

The coun­cil’s head of hous­ing, deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Bren­dan Kenny, said the city would “run out” of res­i­den­tially zoned devel­op­ment land in four years and must turn its at­ten­tion to in­dus­trial es­tates as a source of new hous­ing land.

The sites would be suit­able for high-den­sity apart­ment devel­op­ment, Mr Kenny said, and could ac­com­mo­date some high-rise build­ings, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the Gov­ern­ment’s re­moval of caps on height.

The Depart­ment of Hous­ing last week pub­lished draft guide­lines to en­cour­age lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to al­low taller apart­ment blocks in city cen­tres and close to good transport links.

The tar­get in­dus­trial lands are all be­side es­tab­lished res­i­den­tial ar­eas, with some al­ready served by Luas and rail lines.

The re­zon­ing of the hun­dreds of acres could re­sult in a windfall for land own­ers whose sites are no longer com­mer­cially vi­able, but who have been un­will­ing to sell up be­cause of the lower prop­erty val­ues at­tached to in­dus­tri­ally zoned lands.

Case-by-case ba­sis

Pre­vi­ously, old in­dus­trial or “brown­field” sites have been zoned on a case-by-case ba­sis, but city coun­cil­lors will, in the com­ing months, be asked to con­sider mass re­zon­ing of large por­tions of – or some­times en­tire – in­dus­trial es­tates.

“A lot of this land is to­tally un­der­utilised,” Mr Kenny said.

“In some places, for a large num­ber of years there has been lit­tle or no ac­tiv­ity on them.”

The coun­cil will ini­tially fo­cus on the city’s older in­dus­trial es­tates which were once at the city’s outer reaches and have over the years be­come “sand­wiched” be­tween res­i­den­tial ar­eas, such as the Dublin In­dus­trial Es­tate in Glas­nevin, the Kyle­more In­dus­trial Es­tate, west of Inchicore, and in­dus­trial lands around Coolock to the north­east of the city.

While th­ese lands are in pri­vate ownership, the coun­cil hopes the change in zon­ing would “en­cour­age” own­ers to ei­ther sell, or form devel­op­ment part­ner­ships for the land.

“Th­ese in­dus­trial es­tates are ripe for devel­op­ment, but are owned by many peo­ple,” Mr Kenny said.

“We would like to see landown­ers com­ing to­gether with mas­ter­plans on how their sites might be re­de­vel­oped.”

Ex­ist­ing busi­ness

Even if land was re­zoned, ex­ist­ing busi­ness could choose to con­tinue oper­at­ing, he said.

“It’s pri­vate prop­erty, we can’t take their premises off them, but we would like to give en­cour­age­ment.

“We’re talk­ing about big tracts of land, there is a lot of po­ten­tial out there.”

Plans were al­ready in place for all the coun­cil-owned land banks in the city, Mr Kenny said, and with Dublin fac­ing on­go­ing hous­ing short­ages, in both the pub­lic and the pri­vate sec­tor, now was the time to re­zone older in­dus­trial lands.

“We are run­ning out of land. In four years’ time we won’t have any land left in the city for hous­ing devel­op­ment,” he said.

The coun­cil is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in the po­ten­tial of the Dublin In­dus­trial Es­tate, which has an en­trance op­po­site Glas­nevin ceme­tery but largely sits be­tween Cabra and Fin­glas south.

Th­ese lands are ser­viced by the Broom­bridge stop of the new Luas cross-city line. “I think we could ac­com­mo­date up to 20 storeys [at the end] of the Luas line; we need to be far more rad­i­cal in terms of height,” Mr Kenny said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.