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Aoibhin Bryant

John Sisk Son Limerick Freyne

John Sisk & Son awarded €65m contract for Limerick-Freyne freight line by Iarnrod Eireann

By | Industry News

John Sisk & Son has been awarded a €65 million contract by Iarnrod Eireann for the Limerick to Foynes freight rail line reinstation.

As part of Iarnród Éireann’s Rail Freight 2040 Strategy, the overall objective is to rehabilitate and renew the existing track and civil engineering infrastructure on the railway line.

Phase One of current plans will include earthworks, the installation of sleepers and rail (supplied by Irish Rail) and also the maintenance and renewal of bridges, culverts, fencing and the road infrastructure at public road level crossings.

Vegetation and existing track will also be removed and a new ballast-bed is required. Bridges along the route will also be made safe.

A further 13 level crossings along the route will also be renewed as well as boundary fencing and drainage.

The installation of service routes for future line signalling, telecoms infrastructure and level-crossing automation is also expected.

John Sisk Son Limerick Freyne

John Sisk & Son has been awarded a €65 million contract by Iarnrod Eireann for the Limerick to Foynes freight rail line reinstation. Pic: John Sisk & Son

Phase One is expected to take 18 months, with initial vegetation removal work commenced by John Sisk & Son in November of last year.

Phase Two will then see the provision of a signalling system for the route, CCTV-level crossings, trains communications systems and track connections and upgrades at Limerick and Foynes yard.

This work is due to be completed by 2025.

“There is real momentum behind the Foynes line reinstatement project. With Exchequer funding having been confirmed in November, we are delighted to be able to announce the contract award to Sisk just weeks later,” said Iarnród Éireann Chief Executive Jim Meade.

“In partnership, we look forward to bringing this critical, sustainable infrastructure to fruition, as we contribute to the decarbonisation goals for transport in Ireland.

Paul Brown, CEO of John Sisk & Son, expressed the company’s delight in delivering “more vital rail infrastructure”.

“At Sisk we are active across our business in delivering sustainable infrastructure and this line, initially being brought back into service for freight, is part of Iarnród Éireann’s Rail Freight 2040 Strategy, and the recently launched strategic review of the Shannon Foynes Port Company Masterplan, Vision 2041.

“It will bring back the connection between rail and ship services and promote sustainable transport by strengthening freight transport via rail and sea. We look forward to delivering this project in partnership with Iarnród Éireann and our supply chain partners.”

Originally opening in 1858, the 42km line retired passenger traffic in 1963.

Freight services continued until 2001.

Credit: O'Mahony Pike

Plans applied for nearly 1,000 new apartments in Blanchardstown

By | Building Information Ireland

Plans for almost 1000 new apartments in Blanchardstown have been put forward.

BNY Mellon-owned Blanche Retail Nominee Ltd submitted an application to Final County Council for a €274m mixed-use development at what is known as the White Car Park (for Retail Park 2) and a section of surrounding roads.

With a site area of 6.62ha, the proposed Large-scale Residential Development (LRD) will see the construction of a new development for 971 apartments in seven different buildings ranging from one to 16 storeys in height (Blocks A-G).

Of these apartments, plans see 117 studios, 368 one-beds, 422 two-beds, and 64 three-beds.

Another seven commercial units are included in the current plans as well as a childcare facility, a community facility and a Place of Worship.

Further amenity floorspace will be provided to serve the residential units in Blocks A, B, D, E and F.

In a part one to part sixteen storey building, Block A will have 246 apartments (30 studio, 95 one-bed, 96 two-bed, and 25 three-beds apartment units) as well as the childcare facility and one commercial unit on the ground floor.

There will be an external roof terrace on the twelfth floor.

In a part six to part twelve-storey building, Block B has 101 apartments (64 one-beds, 32 two-beds and five three-beds) and an external roof terrace on the eighth floor.

In a part six to part eight-storey building, Block C consists of 38 apartments (two studios, 16 one-beds, 18 two-beds and two three-beds) and two commercial units at the ground level and a roof terrace on the sixth floor.

In a part eleven to part fourteen-storey building, Block D has 76 apartments (one studio, 71 two-beds and four three-beds).

In a part one to part eleven-storey building, Block E comprises of 204 apartments (38 studios, 61 one-beds, 91 two-beds and 14 three-beds) and a roof terrace on the eighth floor.

In a part one to part eight storey building, Block F has 114 apartments (30 studios, 41 one-beds, 34 two-beds and nine three-beds) with a roof terrace on the fourth floor.

Credit: Visual Lab

Of these apartments, plans see 117 studios, 368 one-beds, 422 two-beds, and 64 three-beds. Credit: Visual Lab

Finally, Block G, in a part five to part twelve-storey building, will have 192 apartments (16 studios, 91 one-beds, 80 two-beds and five three-beds), a commercial unit at ground floor level and two roof terraces – on the ninth and eleventh floor respectively.

All apartments will be provided with a balcony or a private terrace.

Plans also aspire to construct a Mobility Hub of seven levels with a total of 546 car parking spaces.

It will also be the location of three commercial units and the aforementioned place of worship and community facility.

Cycle parking will also be available and access to a roof garden area.

A further 487. car parking spaces for the residential units are provided in the basement level of Blocks A, B, C, E, F and G.

The site of the application is bound by Blanchardstown Road South to the northwest and Retail Park 2 and existing surface parking to the north/north-east, provisions for a new access road junction from Blanchardstown Road South are also included in the development plans.

The submission comes after Fingal County Council recently gave Blanche Retail Nominee Ltd the go-ahead for 348 new apartments in a mixed-use development in the northwest Dublin suburb in October of this year.

Credit: Davey + Smith Architects

Council green light for over 400 new homes in Dublin

By | Industry News

South Dublin County Council has given approval for over 450 new homes.

The council made the approval for the homes for Tubber Lane, Adamstown in Lucan in October after plans were submitted by Hugh McGreevy & Sons Ltd last December.

The mixed residential development will see 455 units in total, with a variety of two and three-storey semi-detached and terraced houses, as well as duplex units apartments in three and four-storey blocks.

Of the houses, there are set to be 58 two-bed, two-storey terraced houses; 6 three-bed, two-storey semi-detached houses; 190 three-bed, two-storey, terraced houses; 5 three-bed, three-storey, terraced houses and 6 four-bed, two-storey, terraced houses.

There will be 12 apartment blocks in total.

For seven of the apartment blocks, 111 apartments will be provided – including 32 one-beds, 22 two-beds and 57 three-bed duplex apartments over 3 storeys.

Another four apartment blocks will have 37 apartments/duplexes of 8 one-beds and 29 three-bed duplex apartments over 4 storeys.

The other apartment block located on a site south of Tubber Lane will have 42 apartments including 2 one-beds and 40 two-beds over 4 storeys.

In the planning report submitted by agent John Spain Associates, they stated that the development would be an appropriate form of residential development in regards to the SDZ zoning objective and the provisions of the Adamstown SDZ Planning Scheme.

The report added: “The mix of dwelling types and sizes will provide an appropriate choice to meet the needs of different lifecycle stages and help facilitate the creation of a ‘sustainable and vibrant community’ as supported by the Adamstown Planning scheme.”

South Dublin City Council approved the development subject to 37 conditions, which included the developer/landowner submitting a detailed phasing schedule “in the context of the delivery of units in the overall SDZ development”.

The developer will also pay a financial contribution of €4,727,535.11 to the Planning Authority regarding public infrastructure.

Credit: Google Street View

Plans applied for new hotel and apartments at St Stephen’s Green

By | Industry News

Plans have been applied for a new 126-bed hotel at St Stephen’s Green.

Charlie and Max O’Reilly-Hyland of ORHRE SSG Limited lodged plans with Dublin City Council to convert 92 St Stephen’s Green into five apartments and convert 93 St Stephen’s Green from office use into a hotel.

Of these five apartments, four will be one-bedroom apartments and one will be a three-bedroom unit with a private courtyard and staried access to St Stephen’s Green.

The hotel, overlooking the Iveagh Gardens, will be part 6-storey, part-8 storey over basement with a spa on the lower ground floor level, reception on the ground floor and dining facilities at first floor level.

Bicycle parking and among other associated site development works with existing access points from St. Stephen’s Green will be retained.

In the planning report submitted alongside planning permission, planning consultant John Spain asserted that the proposed development of the recently-restored Georgian buildings will make “efficient reuse of a protected structure which is currently underutilised office and partially vacant”.

As a protected structure, Mr Spain affirmed that the plans are “sympathetic” to its environments and the hotel and apartments will demonstrate the “existing under-utlised Georgian properties and will be successfully integrated into the surrounding area”.

As current plans would see the scrapping of late 20th century modern additions to the building and a reinstation of the original facade at the southern entrance, Mr Spain believes that the conversion could constitue a “significant conservation gain”.

He also stated that current plans of a residential development at 92 St Stephen’s Green would bring the building back to its “original use”.

The hotel – designed by Reddy Architecture + Urbanism – at no. 93 would in turn complement the residential element.

Plans were applied on October 21 with the last day of observation due for November 24.

Credit: Hammerson

Construction of over 100 apartments begins in Dundrum

By | Industry News

Construction has begun on a residential scheme set to deliver 122 apartments in Dundrum.

A joint venture by Dundrum Town Centre owners Hammerson and Allianz Real Estate, the project titled “The Ironworks” is located on the Sandyford Road entrance of the Dundrum Estate.

The apartments will be professionally managed on a long-term rental basis, with 107 of these to be located within The Ironworks – consisting of one studio, 50 one-beds and 56 two-beds.

A further 15 one-bed apartments will be built within Dundrum Town Centre.

On top of the over 100 “sustainably-built homes”, the development will also include a co-working space, a residents’ lounge, a gym, a panoramic terrace and a new coffee shop.

The building will have solar photovoltaics and a green roof.

As part of Hammerson’s first Irish residential-led scheme, all homes will be designed to optimise light and heat recovery ventilation.

Social housing will also be “fully integrated” into the plan with the development set to be completed by 2025.

“Working with our chosen construction partner, Glenbeigh Construction Limited, and other skilled Irish design and operational partners, our vision is to create a sustainable residential development for the local community,” said Connor Owens, Ireland’s Managing Director Asset Management in Hammerson.

“The Ironworks will foster a vibrant community attuned to the heritage and culture of the area.

“We hope this will be a benchmark for residential-led developments for generations to come.”

Nicole Hötsch, Head of Investments & Strategic Development for North & Central Europe at Allianz Real Estate, said they are excited to bring “much-needed residential stock” to the Dublin market.

“The residential sector is one of the most prominent, institutional, stable asset classes benefitting from long-term trends which have created an urgent demand for housing in most cities around the world.”

Jointly owning Dundrum Town Centre with Allianz, Hammerson also owns Dublin’s Ilac Centre and Sword Pavillions with Irish Life.

Credit: Galway County Council

An Bord Pleanala cancels approval of Galway Ring Road

By | Industry News

An Bord Pleanála (ABP) has cancelled its granted planning permission to the N6 Galway City Ring Road.

Previously approving the plans in November of last year, the board retracted its decision for not taking the State’s Climate Action Plan into account when deliberating the development.

This plan had come into effect just four days before permission was granted.

ABP confirmed that they would not oppose judicial review proceedings brought forward by activist group Friends of The Environment.

Correspondence to all informed parties read: “The board held five meetings to consider the application before making its decision at its fifth and final meeting on November 8, 2021 at which it decided to grant permission for the proposed road development.

“The board was not aware at this meeting that a new Climate Action Plan 2021 had been adopted four days previously on November 4, 2021 (adoption of same had not been communicated to the organisation).

“The board accepts that, in particular in the context of the proposed development at issue and the decision in this case, the failure to consider the new Climate Action Plan 2021 in accordance with section 15 of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 as amended prior to making its decision is sufficient to vitiate the lawfulness of its decision.

“Accordingly, the board is consenting to an Order of Certiorari on that basis.”

In a joint statement, both Galway City and County Councils and Transport Infrastructure Ireland expressed their disappointment over the board’s decision to not challenge the review but they remain optimistic.

“Notwithstanding this setback Galway County Council and Galway City Council are confident that the issues arising can be resolved and as a result intend to continue to progress the delivery of the N6 GCRR Project.”

They continued on to state that the project is a “key component” of the transport strategy for the city as it continues to grow, safeguarding it as “the principal economic centre in the west of Ireland”.

“It addresses the transport problem in Galway City by adding trip capacity to the existing transport network thereby reducing trips through the city centre,” it read.
“Furthermore, once the GTS is fully implemented … there will be an even greater significant shift to public transport and sustainable transport modes.”

Estimated to cost around €600 million, Galway County Council formally submitted its application in 2018.

Howver, propositions to tackle congestion in the region date back to as early as 1999.

Plans applied for huge mixed-used development at Broombridge industrial estate

By | Industry News

Plans have been lodged for a mixed-use ‘Royal Canal Square’ scheme at Broombridge Industrial Estate.

Woodberry Printing Ltd has submitted plans to Dublin City Council for work to commence on a 5.63 acre site in Dublin’s northside, consisting of both commercial and residential developments.

The plans submitted propose the demolishing of all existing warehouse/factory/office buildings on-site and constructing four-block-development ranging from 16 storeys high and consisting of 14 retail units, a hotel and a creche.

An office/remote-working or co-working space is also proposed as well as 304 residential apartments among the four different blocks.

Of these apartments, 71 will be one-bedroom, 130 will be two-bedroom and 103 will be three-bedroom.

Block D, the highest proposed construction at 16 storeys, will include the hotel of 100 rooms from the ground to the sixth-floor and from the thirteenth to fifteenth-floor level.

A restaurant, bar and reception area are planned for ground level and a gym, meeting, conference room and staff rooms at first-floor level.

Recreational areas such as a spa, pool, games room and a multi-purpose hall are also set for the thirteenth to fifteenth-floor level.

Commerical use is set to make up 64.5% of the development while the remaining 35.5% will be allocated to residential use.

A decision on the project is due this November.

Woodberry Printing Ltd has also requested provisions for further vehicular, pedestrian and cycle connections among the west, south and east sides of the site.

In the planning report submitted to the council, Kevin Hughes of Hughes Planning and Development Consultants likened the project to the existing Grand Canal Square in Dublin’s docklands.

Mr Hughes wrote that the development will bring “hundreds of jobs” into the area and “breathe life into this dated industrial area of the city which has been under-utilised and earmarked for redevelopment for a number of years”.

“This ambitious plan will deliver a best-in-class employment destination, balanced by a vibrant new living quarter that will not only transform but future-proof this area of Dublin 11.”

Credit: 3D Design Bureau

Terenure Apartment Scheme gets go-ahead from An Bord Pleanála

By | Upcoming Construction Projects

An Bord Pleanála has approved plans to fast-track the development of a €106 million apartment scheme in Terenure, Co Dublin.

Construction is set to take place at the “Carlisle” site on Kimmage Road West, located to the north and east of Ben Dunne Gym, south of Captain’s Road, west of Brookfield Green and east of Park Crescent.

The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) by Lioncor Developments will consist of the construction of five blocks, ranging in heights of up to six storeys at their highest.

The blocks will provide 208 residential units, divided equally between one-beds and two-beds.

Every unit will have private balconies and terraces to the north, south, east and west elevations.

Current plans of the 208 apartments have 21 residential units allocated for social housing.

In the board inspector Paul O’Brien’s report for the case, he found that, subject to compliance, “the proposed development would constitute an acceptable residential density at this location, would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity, would be acceptable in terms of urban design, height and quantum of development”.

The report stated that despite the scheme’s high density, it would “provide for good residential amenity for future occupants whilst ensuring that existing residential amenity can be protected”.

Over 75 objections have been lodged against the scheme, including from residential groups – the Kimmage Dublin Residents’ Alliance, the Kimmage Road Residents’ Association and Terenure West Residents’ Association – and Sinn Fein TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh.

In his objection letter submitted last May, Mr Ó Snodaigh insisted that residents’ objections to the SHD were not ‘nimbyism’.

“Not one of the residents who contacted me in relation to this development argued against housing per se.”

He continued: “Nobody could say that the imposition of five blocks of six-storey apartments backing onto and overlooking the gardens of Dublin Corporation-built 1930s/40s two-storey homes is suitable, as is being proposed with the Carlisle development.”

He also objected to the price guide of the development, with Part V documentation lodged putting an indicative price of €668,155.

Green light for €500 million Foynes to Limerick road and Adare bypass

By | Upcoming Construction Projects

An Bord Pleanála has approved plans for the multi-million euro road linking Foynes to Limerick as well as the Adare bypass.

The €500 million project will connect the port of Foynes to the motorway network.

It will also provide an upgrade to the motorway from Attyfin to Rathkeale.

Expected to measure 35 kilometres, the road will cross through the townlands of Shangolden, Craggs, Askeaton West, Lismakeery, Nantian, Riddlestown, Rathkeale Rural, Rathkeale Urban, Dromard, Croagh, Adare North, Adare South, Clarina and Patrickswell.

An Bord Pleanála also approved plans for the construction of five large bridges, including the much-anticipated Adare bypass – which will see a 200-metre bridge crossing the River Maigue.

This bypass is expected to have a significant impact on reducing congestion in the area.

The road will consist of approximately 15.6km dual carriageway from Foynes to Rathkeale with 1.9km of a single carriageway link road between Ballyclogh and Askeaton. Credit: Google Street View

The road will consist of approximately 15.6km dual carriageway from Foynes to Rathkeale
with 1.9km of a single carriageway link road between Ballyclogh and Askeaton.

Another 17.5km will take up the motorway from Rathkeale to the existing motorway network at Attyflin, which includes the N2, N20 and M20 junctions.

Junctions will be in place for the towns of Foynes, Ballyclogh, Askeaton, Rathkeale, Croagh and Adare.

A service area for heavy goods vehicles is also planned for Foynes.

Limerick City and County Council first applied to An Bord Pleanála for planning permissions in December 2019.

The project’s website states that both the roads and bypass “promote efficient and effective transport links in the Munster region”.

“The project will improve the urban environment of the heritage town of Adare and will increase road capacity, reducing journey times and improving safety for road users.”

Although a decision was expected last year, it was hit with several deferrals.

An Bord Pleanála approved the development subject to five conditions.

In the interim before construction begins, members of the public are invited to inspect the decision.

Building Information Index 2022 Q1-Q2

By | Building Information Ireland, Industry News

High inflation rates among other problems have hit the construction sector following the end of the COVID-19 slump, Building Information’s new index has found.

In the newly-published Building Information Index Q1-Q2 for 2022, significant pressures have been seen in the rising costs seen in the first six months of this year. 

With the Society of Chartered Surveyors finding that construction price inflation is now running at 14%, Building Information Ireland CEO Danny O’Shea said this provided a backdrop to their half-year report of the industry. 

“Covid restrictions appear to be well and truly behind us now, but challenges remain in terms of inflation, supply chain and labour skills,” he said. 

Mr O’Shea pointed to data and recent reports from BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland 

Construction PMI in June and July suggest huge difficulties for the sector in the summer months.

However, the same report also sees inflation easing in the coming months. 

“This should hopefully release some pressure on both suppliers and contractors in the  construction sector as we progress through the latter half of 2022.”

Commencement of projects has increased by just 65%, which is relatively static once inflation is stripped from the picture. 

However, after two years of the sector largely coming to a stand still during rolling lockdowns, the industry has perked up with a substantial 50% national increase in application activity compared to the first half of 2021

This is an increase from €13.6bn to €20.5bn year on year.

All regions of the island showed growth with Dublin seeing the largest at a 79% increase. 

Connacht and Ulster remain largely unchanged with a marginal increase of just 1% – which is actually a decrease in projects once inflation is taken out of costs. 

Although the rest of the country saw a decrease in granted permissions, they were up year-on-year nationally by 3% in thanks to Munster.

 

Residential

Despite a slight decrease in unit putput, the outlook for residential properties has remained positive with planning applications up 68% in the first six months of 2022 compared to 2021. 

This increase is substantially driven by Strategic Housing Developments (SHD) and the new  new Large Residential Developments – all of which have units of 100 or more. 

Dublin and Cork have seen the majority of new applications, showing gains of 94% and 95% in the Dublin and Munster regions respectively. 

While granted applications increased by 5% nationally for the year, Munster has seen a significant rise in comparison to the rest of the country.

Commencements are up a marginal 2% in the same period. 

Building Info’s analysis sees a possible 15% increase in activity in the short term with delays in planning and limitations of delivery hindering estimates.

 

Education 

Turning to the education sector, the outlook remains overwhelmingly positive with high levels of activity expected to continue into 2023. 

Commencements rose by 170% nationally when compared to 2021 – a further increase from 2020.

Planning applications were down nationally by 30% but granted applications rose by 43%. All regions have felt this increase with the exception of Dublin which is down 17%. 

 

Agriculture

When looking at agriculture, all metrics have seen significant decreases with planning applications down 56%.

Granted applications also fell by 43% for the year with all regions feeling this steep decline.

On the commencement front, the six months of 2022 saw a 17% national decline. 

Inflation of steel prices has seemed to contribute to this downturn. 

One consolation that can be taken for the sector is that turn around times have improved.

 

Industrial 

The industrial sector is continuing into 2022 with strong growth with planning applications up 15%.

Dublin benefited the most with a recorded 72% increase.

Although granted applications are down 19% nationally, commencements are up a significant 76%.

Strong activity is seen in Cork with Munster overall enjoying huge gains of 185%. 

Turnaround times are just three weeks longer than the industry average at 66 weeks. 

 

Commercial & Retail 

After taking a significant hit in the last two years, the commerical and retail sector has appeared to turn a corner in the first half of 2022. 

Planning applications are up 27% compared to the same period in 2021.  While this growth was felt in Dublin and Munster, Leinster and Connacht Ulster continued to show decreases of 10% and 38% respectively. 

Granted applications also increased in line with inflation. 

While national commencement activity is down, a growth of 20% in Dublin is hoped to be reflected in the rest of the country in the near future. 

In other sectors, medical construction looks neutral in the short term with current activity slowing slightly in 2022. 

Meanwhile, activity and demand are both down significantly in the social sector when comparing the first halves of 2022 and 2021. 

Information in the Building Information Index is gathered by measuring the actual (estimated) monetary build value of every construction project per sector. The data is taken by BuildingInfo from real time planning and project information. 

Projects with a value of less than €200,000 were not included from this index, with the exception of the agriculture sector.

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