145 residents of Dublin Central have signed a petition in support of an objection lodged to An Bord Pleanála by Workers’ Party representative, Éilis Ryan. The objection concerns the proposed development of 280 ‘co-living’ apartments at Hendron’s Building, 36-40 Upper Dominick Street, D7.

Submitting the objection to An Bord Pleanála today, Ryan commented:

“The proposed development contravenes emerging national policy which is to prohibit co-living developments. Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has made clear his intention to rescind the regulations which permit co-living, where small individual rooms are rented and common facilities shared. This application flies in the face of these stated intentions and should be viewed as opportunistic”

Ryan continued: “Furthermore, the application’s ‘Shared Accommodation Demand Report’ is unsatisfactory because it claims the development will provide affordable housing, when all the evidence is that co-living is totally unaffordable. Rooms in the nearby similar co-living development at Highfield House are currently advertised with rates beginning at €230 per person per week (€920/month). This is far in excess of the current market rent for a single room in a shared accommodation in the area. It is therefore untenable to claim, as this application’s report does, that there is a demonstrated need for the accommodation, given it is in no way cheaper than comparable, shared accommodation”

The observation also notes the public health risks posed by co-living development in the context of the current global health pandemic. Furthermore, it highlights an excess of short-term purpose-built accommodation already in the immediate D7 vicinity and the failure of the application to meet planning requirements for sustainable communities, as provided for in the city development plan.

Ryan concluded:

“From talking to local residents, I know there is deep concern and a degree of alarm about this proposed development. Residents are keen to see a prioritisation of community amenities and genuinely affordable housing in this area, as opposed to an unaffordable, unsustainable and unsafe co-living block. Over 140 local residents have added their signature in support of this objection to An Bord Pleanála. Rest assured this campaign will continue until all plans for co-living development are dropped”