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Aoibhin Bryant

Almost 1,000 homes to be built on former Dundrum hospital grounds in SHD development

By | Industry News

Nearly 1,000 homes are set to be built on the lands of the former Dundrum Central Mental Hospital.

The Land Development Agency announced its intentions to apply to An Bord Pleanala for a 10-year permission for a Strategic Housing Development on the grounds of the former hospital.

In current plans, the site is squarely placed in the immediate area of a number of proposed protected structures, namely the ‘Asylum’, the ‘Catholic Chapel’, and the ‘Hospital Building’.

With a total application site area of c.9.6 ha, the development will consist of 977 residential units – almost all apartments.

Of the 957 apartments, 423 will be one bedroom units, 317 will be two bedroom units (for four people), 37 will be two bedroom units (for three people), 110 will be three bedroom units and 53 will be studio apartments.

Further 17 apartments will be duplex, consisting of three bedroom units and 14 three bedroom units.

Current plans see all apartments having private balconies and terraces as well as a communal amenity open space provision – including courtyards and a roof garden.

Of the other homes envisioned, 20 two and three storey houses are in current provisions, consisting of seven three bedroom units and 13 four bedroom units.

The development will also consist of 3,889 sqm of non-residential uses with the change of use and renovation of the existing single storey Gate Lodge building to provide a café.

A restaurant, six retail units, a medical unit, a community centre and a childcare facility with an associated outdoor play area are also included in the application.

The development will consist of the demolition of existing structures on the site, including a single storey former swimming pool and sports hall, a two storey redbrick building, a single storey ancillary and temporary structures and removal of existing internal subdivisions/ fencing, including removal of security fence at Dundrum Road entrance.

A demolition of a section of the porch and glazed screens at Gate Lodge building, the removal of walls adjacent to the Main Hospital Building and alterations and removal of sections of the wall to the Walled Garden are also included in current plans.

Provisions for public open spaces, cycle and pedestrian routes and parking are also accounted for.

Vehicles will be able to access the site from the existing access area off Dundrom Road and a new access area also off Dundrum Road to the south.

Minister for Education confirms that 20 school building projects to progress to tender stage

By | Industry News

Minister Norma Foley

“I am pleased that this programme will provide significant additional provision for children with special education needs at post-primary level and in special schools. This will be an important feature for post-primary school projects generally given the need to enhance our capacity to deliver provision for children with special educational needs at post-primary level.

The Department of Education

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD confirms that 20 school building projects, being managed and delivered on a devolved basis by the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) on behalf of the Department, are expected to progress to tender stage.

The Minister can confirm that the first phase of the process for the procurement of design and build (D&B) contractors for the ambitious programme has been completed through the selection of five D&B contractors.

The second phase of the procurement process will involve the tendering of the first bundle of projects by these D&B contractors and the establishment of a contractor framework to tender for each subsequent bundle of projects as they become ready (design work completed and planning permission etc. obtained).

The 20 school building projects are being delivered in three distinct project bundles: Project Nore, Project Boyne and Project Dargle. Subject to the timelines for obtaining planning permissions, it is envisaged that these projects will proceed to tender and ultimately construction over the course of 2022 and 2023.

Project management and design team consultants have already been appointed for all projects within the programme. Each project bundle is currently progressing through a different stage of the design development process and, once they have completed the statutory approvals process, they can all then be expected to proceed to tender to the contractor framework.

These projects when completed will deliver in excess of 14,000 permanent school places (additional and replacement places) which includes over 50 special classes. It also includes new and modern facilities for 22 classrooms in two special schools. The overall list of 20 projects included in the programme is set out below.

Minister Foley said:

“The rollout of these projects to tender and construction is an important aspect of the Department’s overall delivery under the Government’s National Development Plan 2021 to 2030. They will assist in delivering on the provision of modern and sustainable infrastructure for the schools sector.

“I would also like to acknowledge the work of all the school communities, stakeholders and particularly the NDFA in driving forward with this major programme of school building projects. The NDFA is an important strategic delivery partner for the Department and I look forward to continuing to build on this relationship in the future with the rollout of further programmes.”

Welcoming this announcement Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan said:

“I am pleased that this programme will provide significant additional provision for children with special education needs at post-primary level and in special schools. This will be an important feature for post-primary school projects generally given the need to enhance our capacity to deliver provision for children with special educational needs at post-primary level.

“As a Government we are committed to providing state-of-the-art facilities for our students and I look forward to seeing these projects continuing to progress.”

ENDS

US Pharma giant submits plans for €76 million factory in Limerick

By | Industry News
Eli Lilly Limerick Plan

Proposed site

US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly has put forward an application for a €76 million factory in Co Limerick.

The company is seeking a 10-year permission to develop a four-storey Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Campus with an overall floor plan of 47,384 sqm.

The main building will be approximately 18,534 sqm and 33 metres high with roof-mounted plant/equipment and solar panels.

Eli Lilly submitted the planning application to Limerick City and County Council on February 28 – but had made the big announcement in January of this year.

The proposed site is Raheen Business Park, a 5km distance from Limerick’s city centre.

A decision date from the council is due on April 14.

The new factory expects to deliver 300 jobs from engineers, scientists and operations personnel and a further 500 jobs during the plant’s construction with the corporation intending to invest €400 million into the new facility.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD welcomed the US company’s decision as “fantastic news”.

“The Mid-West has become a real hub for leading biopharma companies such as Lilly and I’m really pleased that the company has chosen Limerick for its new manufacturing centre, investing over €400m and creating 300 new, permanent jobs and a further 500 jobs during construction,” Mr Varadkar said.

“This new manufacturing centre is a significant expansion of that work and I wish the entire team the very best with the project.”

Eli Lilly Limerick Plan

Credit: Jacob’s Engineering Limited

Eli Lilly currently hires more than 2,500 employees in Ireland across its manufacturing campus in Kinsale, Co Cork as well a global business services centre in Cork’s Little Island and a commercial team which operates across the country.

The company first began its operations in Ireland back in 1978.

“Over the past 40 years, we have continued to invest in Ireland in part because of supportive government policies that value life science innovatio,’ said Senior vice president and president of Lilly Manufacturing Operations Edgardo Hernandez.

“This new Lilly campus in Limerick will allow us to expand our capacity to make innovative new medicines that can help treat some of the world’s most serious illnesses.

“This facility will use the latest technology to support advancements in science, productivity and sustainability, further establishing Lilly as a global manufacturing leader.”

CEO of IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan also hailed the announcement as demonstrative of the “confidence Lilly has in Ireland” and the Mid-West’s “strong talent pool”.

“I wish to assure Lilly of IDA Ireland’s continued support.”

Major construction of €62 million Palmerstown build-to-rent development begins

By | Industry News

Major construction has begun in Palmsterstown on a €62 million development that originally started site work last May.

The building of Block C and E of a strategic housing development at lands on Palmerstown Retail Park, Kennelsfort Road Lower, Palmerstown, Dublin 20 kicked off this month.

Although work originally began in May 28 last year, work on the first two blocks has only begun.

All in all, the development will see the creation of 250 “build to rent” apartments as well as a café and other residential facilities.

Block C will provide 47 of these apartments, 30 of which are one-beds and 17 which are two-beds.

The building will be six storeys high over a basement.

Palmerstown Build To Rent

Credit: Digital Dimensions

Block E, at eight storeys, will contain 63 apartments in total, 40 of which will be one-beds and 23 two-beds.

The development will consist of five blocks in total.

Block A will have 27 apartments ranging from three to six storeys over the basement and a communal roof garden on the third floor. Most apartments in the block will have both private balconies or terraces.

Block B is set to hold 46 apartments — comprising 18 one-beds and 28 two-beds at six storeys over the basement in height. All apartments will be provided with private balconies or terraces.

Palmerstown Build To Rent

Credit: Digital Dimensions

Block D will contain the most apartments with 67 at seven storeys in height. Of these dwellings, 33 will be one-beds and 34 will be two beds. Most apartments in this block will have private balconies or terraces.

The works will see the entire demolition of all existing structures on site.

The development will also include upgrades to vehicular and pedestrian/cyclist access to Kennelsfort Road Lower and landscaping consisting of play equipment and upgrades to the public realm.

While Randelswood Holdings Ltd submitted plans for the development, the McGrath Group is the main contractor of the project.

The property development group recorded profits of €5 million last year.

Palmerstown Build To Rent

Credit: McGrath Group

While work at the Palmerstown site began in 2021, commencements for that year remained static when compared to 2020.

The Building Information Index 2021 Q1-Q4 saw commencements stagnate at €10.5 billion – no change from 2020 and a 10% decrease from 2019.

However, cautious optimism is on the cards for the sector with residential planning applications up 54% in 2021.

This substantial rise is largely attributed to the number of Strategic Housing Development applications submitted in the later months of 2022.

Building Information Index 2021 Q1-Q4

By | Building Information Ireland

A new report has spelt positive news for the construction industry with planning applications as a whole on the rise.

After two years marred by COVID-19 lockdowns, Building Information Index 2021 Q1-Q4’s has an optimistic outlook for the industry in 2022 as restrictions come to an end.

In the index released this week, it was found that there is the capacity for an 18% surge in construction levels across Ireland by the end of this year.

This boost comes off the back of a steady rise in planning applications in 2021 which saw the total value of new planning applications rise 44% higher from 2020.

All regions benefitted from this increase, with the exception of Connact/Ulster which saw an 8% drop in new applications.

Residential planning applications were up 54% in 2021 with Dublin and Cork (Munster) showing impressive gains of 75% and 76% respectively.

This substantial rise is largely attributed to the number of Strategic Housing Development applications submitted in the last year, particularly in the later months.

However, while applications are on the rise, commencements remain static at €10.5 billion – no change from 2020 and a 10% decrease from 2019.

Furthermore, residential unit projects with over 33,000 units started work in 2021 – an almost identical figure to 2020 and 2019.

Employment in the sector is also down 16% when compared to pre-pandemic levels which will forecast limits and possible delays to projects for 2022.

The report speaks of anecdotal evidence showing major administrative delays in processing larger projects, particularly Strategic Housing Developments.

Building Information CEO Danny O’Shea said: “Our year-end 2021 Building Information Index is showing more cause for optimism in the industry when compared with previous years.”

“Hopefully, the lockdowns are behind us now and we can focus and plan 2022 with a better degree of certainty than has been the case for quite some time.”

Mr O’Shea continued: “However, as noted, we must be mindful that while the demand is there, and the intent of the industry to deliver that demand is certainly present, we may have shortfalls in terms of labour, skills and materials that must be overcome.”

Sadly, not all factions of the industry have seen positive growth in the last year with the commercial and retail sector continuing its downward trajectory into 2021.

Planning applications were down 11% last year from 2020 and was felt in all regions except for Munster.

Granted applications also remained the same in both 2020 and 2021.

Building Info expects a further 15% decline in construction activity throughout 2022 with no presumption of a turn-around in the short or mid-term.

Meanwhile, the industrial sector is booming with new applications rising by 27% in 2021, in particular from  IT, manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies.

Regionally, Munster experienced a significant increase of 110% in applications last year.

Furthermore, granted applications are up 52% with turnaround times also relatively short for industrial projects at 63 weeks.

For 2022, the Index indicates a 37% growth for the sector in 2022.

The agricultural sector experienced a slight decline nationally in 2021 of 4%. Granted applications were also down 7% with Munster suffering the brunt at -26%.

For both the medical and education sectors, 2021 was a relatively steady year with no further declines expected for either in 2022.

However, the turnaround times in the medical sector are 15 weeks slower than the industry average.

For the social sector, a slow recovery is most likely after it experienced significant blows during the pandemic. In 2021, new applications increased by 60%.

This data was compiled from real-time planning and project information by BuildingInfo with the estimated monetary build value of every construction project per sector in the country measured.

Projects with a value of less than €200,000 were omitted from the index, with the exception of the agricultural sector.

Buildinginfo_index_2021

Click on the image to open/download

New €10 million plan set to renovate historic Howth Castle

By | Industry News
Howth Castle

Credit: Darmody Architects

Howth Castle is set for a huge makeover with a €10 million plan submitted for its redevelopment.

In a joint application, WSHI Ltd. and the Michal J Wright Group submitted planning permission to Dublin’s Fingal County Council which could see the historic site transformed into a tourist hotspot.

The plan includes major restoration works alongside refurbishments and the construction of new buildings.

The development proposes the demolitions of some farm buildings as well as converting both the castle’s ground floors and the stable areas from primarily residential use to hospitality and tourist retail use.

In the stable area, a 150-seat glass pavilion restaurant is planned alongside both gin-making and cookery schools.

On the ground floor of the stable yard, a number of artisan retail stores are envisioned.

Meanwhile, within the main castle building, there are plans to change the use of the upper ground floor into tea rooms and a reception area.

On the lower ground floor, there will be a conversion of rooms to tea rooms, kitchens and storage areas.

No further works or changes have been made for the other floors of the castle other than a fire upgrade.

On the castle grounds and within the renowned walled gardens, there are intentions to construct a garden centre, a falconry and petting farm as well as picnic and play amenities

The erection of a temporary marquee and ancillary facilities for wedding events is also in current plans.

A pedestrian entrance is planned to open from The Howth Road along with schemes for 6km of walks and cycleways through the estate which aim to link Sutton and Howth.

These works will all be undertaken by a single management company which will cover the castle, the stable areas and attendant lands.

In a statement announcing the planning application, the Michael J Wright Group assured that the National Transport Museum will remain in the heart of the new development.

The project promises the creation of 150 new jobs when the redevelopment is completed, with 100 jobs during the construction phase.

Tetrarch Capital has owned the Howth Castle Estate since 2019 with the Michael J Wright Group now taking a 25-year lease.

The plans were submitted to the County Council on January 31 2022.

Beacon hospital gets green light for €23 million extension

By | Industry News

Credit: AO VIsuals

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) has approved the €23 million extension of the Beacon Hospital.

This development will see the demolition of the existing eight-storey Beacon Hotel, which was purchased by the hospital from John Malone’s MHL Collection hotel group in 2020.

It will include 70 new hospital beds as well as A&E facilities, oncology facilities and associated in-patient treatment rooms.

Ancillary administration offices and a staff and patient café are also in the proposed development plans.

In a report lodged with the application in August 2021, it was claimed that the private hospital was expecting to see 56,375 inpatient nights that year – a 30% increase from 2016.

Senior planner Orla Casey of Tom Phillips + Associates stated that the current design has “sought to balance the residential requirements of future occupants, patients
and staff in line with sustainable transport objectives, with the minimisation of any potential
impacts on the amenities of adjoining residential properties”.

On January 24, the DLCRR gave the green light to the extension, concluding that the development will not “detract from the amenities of the area and is consistent with the provisions of the current Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Development Plan”.

The go-ahead was granted despite numerous objections lodged, including by the 70 owners and tenants of the neighbouring Beacon One apartment complex.

Beacon One Management CLG had previously lodged an objection in September soon after planning applications were submitted.

Another submission was put forward in early January.

In the objections addressed to the local council, Beacon One Management CLG relayed their argument that their clients were not consulted on the proposed extension.

Brendan Buck, a director at BPS, affirmed that the development would make it impossible for his clients to access their apartments through the old hotel building — which clients had fought for in the High Court in 2019.

In another submission, Steven and Brid Ann Dag affirmed that the development would negatively impact their tenants both during and after construction work.

“Our tenant works from home and it is hard to see how he will be able to continue to work or even stay in the apartment with the level of noise, vibration and dust resulting from the proposed development work,” they said.

“The impact of noise and vibration will be intolerable for the tenant.”

First phase of multi-million Cork housing development kicks off this week

By | Upcoming Construction Projects

The first phase of a multi-million euro Cork housing development is set to kick off this week.

The construction of 86 houses costing €17.8 million in Mallow, Co Cork will begin on Thursday, January 27.

The first phase will see the building of 20 houses and associated site works, covering house numbers 10 to 29.

The 3.8 hectare site located on the edge of town in Annabella will see the development of 58 two-and-a-half storey four-bedroom homes (semi detached), 14 two-storey three-bedroom homes (semi detached) and eight two-storey three-bedroom homes (terraced).

Around three open spaces and two playgrounds were also proposed for the area.

Planning permission was first granted by Cork County Council in October of 2016 after developer Canonbridge lodged plans in 2015.

Earlier that year, the council had thrown out an application for 86 houses (scaled down from the original 102) and a creche originally submitted by developers.

An Bord Pleanála granted permission with conditions for the current plan in April 2017 after a third party appeal was lodged by D. and M. McEntee of Mallow.

Among the reasons put forward by the appealing party, they included claims that the housing development would have led to an “exacerbation of traffic problems” and would impede on the habitat of bats in a woodland north of the site.

In ABP’s decision, it found in the ecologist report that the site at Annabella has “limited areas of habitat that bats favour due to risk of predation”.

They also stated that the application is supported by a traffic and transportation assessment (TTA) carried out by MHL & Associates Ltd. Consulting Engineers and a Road Safety Audit (RSA).

Permission was granted by ABP under conditions which included the developers paying a financial contribution of €187,446 “in respect of public infrastructure and facilities”.

A further sum of € 86,000 was required of the developers as a special contribution to the provision of a roundabout at the L1203 (Kennell Hill) /N72 /L9000 junction and relocation and upgrade of the N70/N72 (Annabella) roundabout.

New €80 million hotel at Dublin Airport gets the go-ahead

By | Upcoming Construction Projects

Dublin Airport is set to get a luxury new €80 million hotel.

Fingal County Council gave the green light to the first terminal-linked hotel at Dublin Airport this month.

It’s expected to become one of Ireland’s largest hotels and provide an estimated 550 local jobs.

Headed by UK hotel group Arora, the new building will be built right beside Terminal 2 and include pedestrian access to the entire first floor level of the T2 car park.

Planning permission was granted under the condition that Arora Dublin T2 Ltd pay €2.17 million in public infrastructure planning contributions to Fingal County Council.

The 11-storey hotel, with a total floor area of 30,566 square metres, will provide 410 bedrooms and include a large range of amenities including a leisure centre on the third floor – complete with a gym, a steam room, sauna and a jacuzzi.

On the top floor, provisions have been made for a penthouse bar and an executive lounge, both of which open onto south-facing roof terraces.

Dublin Airport Terminal 2 Hotel

Headed by UK hotel group Arora, the new building will be built right beside Terminal 2 and include pedestrian access to the entire first floor level of the T2 car park. Pic: Unum Partnership

On the ground floor, there are plans for 10 meeting rooms and a children’s play room while the first floor will provide an event/business space with five more meeting rooms.

Permission was also sought for the temporary use (five years) of two sites as construction compounds to serve the construction phase. 

Arora submitted plans to the council in May 2021 after it was selected by DAA through public tender process as the preferred operator.

Under this agreement, Arora will operate the hotel for 100 years until ownership reverts back to DAA.

This is the UK group’s first venture in Ireland, operating airport hotels in the likes of London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

The planning permission is subject to any appeal brought to An Bord Pleanála.

So far, one individual has objected to the council over the hotel application.

P Keenan from Carrickhill Heights, Portmarnock argued that “rather than more construction, a bit of judicious demolition is required on the Dublin Airport campus.”

Construction underway for €38m Strategic Housing Development in South Dublin

By | Industry News

The construction of a huge, multi-million euro building providing over 150 apartments in the leafy Dublin suburbs of Deansgrange is now underway.

Lodged by developers under the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) act in June 2020 and was given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála (ABP) in October of that year, it has an estimated build value of €38m.

The site, located to the south of Deansgrange Cemetery, west of Foxrock Close and north of the Deansgrange Neighbourhood Centre, had encountered a number of refused planning permissions in the past.

With the onset of the new year, work officially commenced on January 4 – beginning with the demolition of all existing buildings on site.

This included a two-storey office / car showroom building, a former petrol filling station and affiliated car showroom uses.

In their wake, a mixed use building of four to six storeys over basement will be built.

The new construction will provide 151 new apartment units from ground level to the fifth floor.

The ground floor level will also offer a restaurant/café and five commercial units for the use of either office/professional services, a medical centre, a gym or another restaurant/café.

Current proposals will see the parking (including for motorcycles), bin storage and plant rooms at basement level.

Bicycle and designated car sharing parking spaces with a loading/set down area have been propositioned for the surface level.

Outdoor communal open spaces are planned for both the surface level and on the fifth floor.

For all elevated levels, balconies or terraces will be provided for the units.

Developers also plan to make public realm improvements along Deansgrange Road’s frontage.

To facilitate the development, boundary treatments and landscaping, an ESB sub-station, drainage and service works, the provision of a vehicular access and egress point,  pedestrian/emergency access point from Deansgrange Road and all other ancillary works will be undertaken.