herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Shelved plans for development of Player's site are back on track

Old John Player factory
Old John Player factory

Boom-time plans for housing on the John Player Wills site in Dublin 8 are back on the table, the Herald can reveal, though they will need to be revised.

Ambitious proposals for a new city precinct on the Player Wills and adjacent Bailey Gibson sites in Dublin 8 were shelved due to the property crash.

Players Square Ltd planned to build a development at the site with 484 apartments at a cost of around €480m.

However, planning permission for the project has now lapsed.

The company behind the project is in Nama, but is said to have a "very good relationship" with the assets agency and is working on progressing the new development "imminently".

It is hoped that a new planning application will be lodged by the end of this year or early next year.

The new development will be a mix of housing, retail and medical space according to the developers. Homes will be social, private and affordable housing.

A new planning application will need to be drawn up to take heed of the incoming Dublin City Development Plan which has zoned the area around the sites, taking in the Coombe and St Teresa's Gardens.

Vision

The footprint of the development will essentially be the same, and the firm said the new zoning builds on previous visions for the area.

New apartment size guidelines will also have an impact on the final plans submitted to the city council, which could mean the number of dwellings may not need to be reduced.

It is also intended to preserve the facade of the old cigarette factory intact while developing behind it.

Meanwhile, Players Square Ltd has said it believes a masterplan is needed for the area, which would go further than the zoning included in the draft development plan.

It is willing to work with all stakeholders to draw up a plan that would be among the most ambitious ever seen in the city centre, allowing for integrated development of the whole area.

A spokesman added that the company is "fully supportive" of the local St Kevin's campaign to secure a GAA pitch in the area.

"I don't see why it can't be done with the full co-operation of everyone, including the council," he said.

"The club organisers are so passionate about it and it's great for the inner-city."

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