Plan for 260 rental units in Drim­nagh

Fast-track plan­ning per­mis­sion sought by Durkan for for­mer Du­lux paint fac­tory Dublin City Coun­cil will be en­ti­tled to take some apart­ments built for so­cial hous­ing

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS - BARRY O’HAL­LO­RAN

A branch of one of the Repub­lic’s best-known build­ing fam­i­lies is seek­ing fast-track plan­ning per­mis­sion to build more than 260 apart­ments for rent.

Durkan (Davitt Road) Ltd has just ap­plied to An Bord Pleanála to build 265 apart­ments on the site of the old Du­lux Paints fac­tory in Drim­nagh on Dublin’s southside.

The com­pany is seek­ing per­mis­sion un­der a fast-track sys­tem which al­lows pro­pos­als for 100 or more dwellings to go straight to An Bord Pleanála, once the developer has con­sulted with both it and the lo­cal coun­cil. The Oireach­tas cre­ated the mech­a­nism to ease plan­ning bot­tle­necks and speed up the sup­ply of new homes.

The builder, part of Dún Laoghaire-based Brian M Durkan & Co, in­tends rent­ing out the apart­ments once they are com­plete, mak­ing it the lat­est of many de­vel­op­ers to favour this mech­a­nism over sell­ing the units in­di­vid­u­ally.

Main route

Davitt Road is one of the main routes into cen­tral Dublin from the western sub­urbs through a well-es­tab­lished res­i­den­tial area.

Other doc­u­ments show that the com­pany has al­ready dis­cussed its plans with Dublin City Coun­cil, which will be en­ti­tled to take some of the apart­ments for so­cial hous­ing.

A let­ter to the builder’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Brian Durkan, from the coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive hous­ing of­fi­cer, Laura Fo­ran, states that the au­thor­ity’s “pre­ferred op­tion” is take some of the apart­ments, but in­di­cates that the fi­nal plan­ning per­mis­sion given will de­ter­mine how many.

Plan­ning laws al­low coun­cils to take a pro­por­tion of new de­vel­op­ments for so­cial hous­ing or to ac­cept pay­ment in­stead of this.

Tony Durkan es­tab­lished Brian M Durkan & Co in the 1990s. His sons Brian and An­thony now run it. The fam­ily is one of three branches of Durkans who have been in­volved in build­ing since the 1960s. How­ever, none of their busi­nesses are con­nected to each other.

Re­cent fig­ures show that Devon­dale, an­other part of the Brian M Durkan & Co group, owed State as­sets agency, Nama, €243.7 mil­lion at the end of 2017.

Se­cured debt

That debt was se­cured on three sites, For­tunestown Lane, in Sag­gart, Co Dublin, Bird Av­enue in Clonskeagh on the cap­i­tal’s southside, and Donacumper, Cel­bridge, Co Kil­dare.

The ac­counts state that Devon­dale was re­ly­ing on Nama’s sup­port to re­main in busi­ness and that the direc­tors be­lieved this would con­tinue un­til work on the sites was com­plete and the prop­er­ties sold.

Its par­ent, Brian M Durkan & Co, is cur­rently sell­ing homes from de­vel­op­ments in Clonskeagh and in For­tunestown, Sag­gart. The lat­ter project in­volved a €100 mil­lion in­vest­ment.

It is un­der­stood that Nama has no in­volve­ment in the Du­lux site. The plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion gives no de­tails on Durkan (Davitt Road) Ltd’s fund­ing. The com­pany was es­tab­lished last year and is not due to file fi­nan­cial re­turns for sev­eral months.

It also builds schools and some com­mer­cial work. It was not pos­si­ble to con­tact a spokesman for the group yes­ter­day.

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