All Posts By

Aoibhin Bryant

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.

Belfast City Council

New £100 million tourism attraction announced for Belfast

By | Industry News

A new £100 million tourism attraction has been announced for the city of Belfast.

Located in the heart of the northern city, the multi-million project aims to tell the stories of the city and its people.

As part of the development, the listed Art Deco former Bank of Ireland building on Royal Avenue will be restored to house elements of the attraction.

The building was acquired by Belfast City Council with the surrounding 4,000sq/m site also set to be developed for an interactive visitor experience.

A state-of-the-art cultural film centre dedicated to showcasing the “best visual storytelling” from Northern Ireland and around the wider world is included in current plans.

In a move towards sustainable developments, a rooftop urban park providing sweeping sights of the city is being considered.

Belfast City Council announced that renewable energy solutions, such as geothermal energy sources, are currently being explored in relation to these projects,

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Kate Nicholl said the announcement represented a “significant moment” for the city.

“Belfast Stories will reflect the unique spirit of our city through a variety of media and immersive experiences. It will drive culture-led regeneration across the city, giving us the opportunity to put the people of Belfast and their stories at its heart,” she said in a statement.

“It’s an investment, not just in monetary terms, but in our people and the generations to come, and an important investment in our heritage and in our future. This is a hugely positive news story for the city and will reap benefits not just for our tourism sector, but in the creation of new jobs and regenerating communities.”

She said that this project will not just zero in on the city centre but also “connect to the development of neighbourhood tourism”.

This is the flagship project of the “once-in-a-generation” Belfast Region City Deal (BCRD) signed earlier this month and is one of the deal’s seven planned tourist attractions.

Although first announced in 2019, its terms were formally signed off earlier this month.

All in all, 20 ambitious projects have been proposed with the BCRD aiming to promote growth in sectors such as life and health sciences, digital and creative industries and advanced manufacturing.

Costing £1 billion in total, the deal also focuses on infrastructure developments.

A lofty sum of £300 million has been committed to five sectors of excellence across the region.

With both the Stormont and UK governments pledging £350million each, it is estimated that the deal will reel in up to 20,000 jobs over the next 10 to 15 years.

Six councils with proposed projects and universities are also contributing funds.

Other schemes proposed in the deal include a £55 million region innovation fund for Belfast, which is hoped will stimulate innovation in artificial intelligence and data, health and wellbeing and sustainability and resilience — which have been dubbed the three Grand Challenges.

Regeneration projects have also been put forward for surrounding areas of Belfast, including Newry, Hillsborough, Bangor seafront and Carrickfergus.

Galway Ring Road gets green light from An Bord Pleanála after series of delays

By | Upcoming Construction Projects

An Bord Pleanála has approved the planning application of the N6 Galway City Ring Road.

Estimated to cost €600 million, the proposed road aims to tackle congestion that has long plagued the city.

With propositions to alleviate traffic dating back to as early as 1999, the formal application for the current ring road plan (N6 GCRR) was submitted by Galway County Council over three years ago and has encountered a series of delays and deliberations.

Following an extensive oral hearing last year, An Bord Pleanála has now revised the design around the Parkmore business park and discarded proposed new permanent stables at Galway Racecourse.

The planning body said that the road will have “significant permanent positive impacts” for travellers in relation to their journey times.

They insisted that development must entirely follow plans submitted, which will see the construction of both dual and single carriageways stretching over 18 kilometres.

The dual-lane will begin with a new interchange from the end of the M6 and continue for 12 kilometres until the existing N59 where it will taper into a single lane until its termination point west of Bearna.

The road will also involve a section of a tunnel towards the Galway Racecourse.

Continuing westwards to the Corrib, a second section of tunnel will be constructed as well as a new crossing over the river.

Current plans will see the road reach NUI Galway on a viaduct, before veering towards the Bushypark area.

As part of An Bord Pleanála’s revisions, special infrastructure will be in place for wildlife such as barn owls, otters and lesser horseshoe bats alongside parts of the route.

Stipulations have also been set down for the types of trees that can be planted by the roads.

Galway City Council has estimated that the road will take three years to construct.

In a statement, the Council and its partner Transport Infrastructure Ireland welcomed An Bord Pleanála’s decision.

“The N6 GCRR will transform Galway City Centre from a location typically characterised by heavy congestion and significant traffic volumes to a destination of choice for residents, workers and visitors alike — with increased walking and cycling infrastructure, and a more reliable, frequent and attractive public transport offer,” Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Mr Brendan McGrath, said.

“The decision by An Bord Pleanála will support a number of key policy areas for Galway City, and the wider western region, relating to sustainable travel; urban realm; active lifestyles; climate action; and compact employment-led growth.”

Although the road is embraced by many, opponents of the project have voiced their concerns over the road’s output of carbon emissions.

In its decision document, An Bord Pleanála conceded that the project is “likely to result in a significant negative impact on carbon emissions and climate that will not be fully mitigated”.

The decision document also found that the road will have “negative direct and indirect impacts” to archaeological and built heritage sites found near the desired route, with one protected structure set to be completely demolished.

Since its formal application in 2018, around 500 landowners along the desired route have received Compulsory Acquisition Notices.

Construction of 20 new school buildings set for 2022 and 2023

By | Upcoming Construction Projects

The Department of Education confirmed that the construction of 20 large school buildings is set to commence in 2022 and 2023.

The project will see 12 new builds and eight extensions for schools across eight counties, securing in excess of 14,000 permanent school places.

The majority of projects will take place in post-primary schools in preparation for peak enrolment numbers in 2024/25.

All builds are based in areas that have seen significant population growth over the last number of years, including Co Wicklow, Co Kilkenny and Co Westmeath.

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD confirmed that the first phase of the process has concluded with five design and build (D&B) contractors selected for the task.

Overseen by the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), the 20 school building projects will be delivered in three distinct bundles: Project Nore, Project Boyne and Project Dargle.

Subject to planning permissions, it is hoped that all three schemes will proceed to tender and ultimately construction throughout 2022 and 2023.

“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,” Minister Foley said.

“They will assist in delivering on the provision of modern and sustainable infrastructure for the schools sector.”

She acknowledged the work from school, communities, the NDFA and other stakeholders in driving forward this major programme.

Keeping in line with pledges made in the National Development Plan 2021 to 2030, the upcoming projects will oversee the construction of over 50 special classrooms.

It also includes new and modern facilities for 22 classrooms in two special schools.

“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,” Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan said.

“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.”

A list of the 20 projects can be read below.

Carlow:

New build replacement school for Presentation De La Salle in Bagnelstown. It is projected to enrol 750 students after project completion and will include two special needs classrooms.

Kildare:

A new build replacement school for St. Mark’s Special School in Newbridge, including 14 classrooms.

New build replacement school for Patrician Post Primary in Newbridge, including four classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

An extension and refurbishment to Cross & Passion, Kilcullen, including four classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

New build replacement school for St Mary’s Girls’ Post Primary in Naas including four classrooms for children with special needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

Kilkenny:

New build replacement school for Kilkenny CBS, including two classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

New build replacement school for Presentation Secondary School, including two classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

New build replacement school for St. Canice’s N.S, including 24 classrooms with two for children with special educational needs.

Meath:

New build replacement school for Franciscan College in Gormanstown, including four classrooms for children with special educational needs.

Tipperary:

New build replacement school for Gaelscoil Charraig Na Siuire with eight classrooms.

Westmeath:

An extension and refurbishment of St. Finian’s, Mullingar, including two classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

A new build of eight classrooms for St. Mary’s Special School, Mullingar to facilitate the transfer of existing school from Delvin to Mullingar.

An extension and refurbishment of St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Rochfortbridge, including four classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

An extension and refurbishment of Castlepollard Community College, including two classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 350 students.

An extension to Moate Community School, including four classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

Wicklow:

An extension to Coláiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole, including four classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

An extension to St Kevin’s Community College including four classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

An extension & refurbishment of Wicklow Avondale Community College in Rathdrum including four classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

New build replacement school for Arklow CBS which includes two new classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 500 students.

New build replacement school for Coláiste Bhríde in Carnew including four classrooms for children with special educational needs. It is projected to enrol 1,000 students.

Heuston Masterplan seeks to transform area with over 1,000 new residential spaces proposed

By | Industry News

The Heuston Masterplan is set to completely transform the surrounding areas of Dublin’s Heuston Station into a sustainable, ‘car-free’ territory.

Launched by Córas Iompair Éireann’s (CIÉ) property division, the proposal will see the mass development of housing, commercial and retail space with direct local links to the many public transport systems available. 

More than 1,000 residential units form part of the development on the 10-hectare site, alongside office space for over 8,000 employees and a 250-bed hotel.

In collaboration with partners O’Mahony Pike Architects, the Heuston Masterplan published last month will see the construction of two bridges for cyclists and pedestrians across the River Liffey.

The Conyngham Road Green Bridge will offer a link between Heuston Station all the way to the gates of Phoenix Park.

On top of that, the Phoenix Park tunnel will be extended to provide a second river crossing.

In an effort to encourage more active travel, the plan proposes 5,000 bike parking places around the area.

Existing car parking spaces at the station are also set to be gradually phased out. Drop-off areas and taxi ranks will remain in place. 

Approximately one kilometre of river frontage will open up in order to interlink the green assets and public amenities of Phoenix Park and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).

Previously announced in the Dart+ South West plans, a new train station is set to be developed at Heuston West.

The CIÉ also promised that ongoing transport operations and planned enhancements will be safeguarded.

Current plans see the office district located predominately in the eastern part of the land while residential areas will be situated between the new Dart station and the existing station.

Mixed-uses amenities will be positioned in proximity to key movements, such as arrival points around the site, ‘veneer’ frontages and at transport interchanges.

Although final costs for the ambitious project remain undetermined, gross development value currently estimates it in the ballpark of an eye-watering €1 billion.

Expected to proceed in phases, the plan will take around 15 years to complete.

While working with estate agents Lisney, CIÉ will seek a developer partner in the first half of 2022.

Current intentions see the planning application submitted in 2023 with construction to commence ‘as soon as possible’ after.