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Published in Construction on 10/01/2019

Fast-Track Planning Sought for 1,500 Apartments in Tallaght


CNI Editor reports

The Marlet property group is seeking permission under the fast-track planning process for a new development of 438 apartments and 403 student accommodation bedspaces at the junction of Belgard Square North and Belgard Road, Tallaght, Co Dublin, ranging in height from four to 10 storeys.

The application represents the first of a two-phase development dubbed Belgard Gardens, which, if permitted, would see the delivery of more than 1,500 apartments, 403 student bedspaces and a number of commercial units on the overall 7.2 hectare (17.8 acre) site Marlet assembled in 2016 for a reported €16 million.

Marlet’s consultants describe Belgard Gardens as a “new urban quarter” for Tallaght given the scale of the proposed development, which would incorporate a number of new streets, a civic plaza and a park. The development is conveniently located about five minutes’ walk from Tallaght Luas station and less than 10 minutes from The Square shopping centre.

Unlike the large-scale apartment developments that sprung up in Tallaght during the Celtic Tiger, Belgard Gardens appears to have a greater focus on residential amenities, with apartment blocks incorporating communal lounges, a gym, meeting spaces and a dedicated concierge. Similar facilities are proposed for the student accommodation. The first phase of the development would feature 129 parking spaces and 1,227 bicycle spaces.

CGI of Belgard Gardens, Tallaght: Property developer Marlet describes the project as a “new urban quarter” for Tallaght
CGI of Belgard Gardens, Tallaght: Property developer Marlet describes the project as a “new urban quarter” for Tallaght

The developer’s landholding comprises three sites, including the former Uniphar premises, which Bernard McNamara’s property group purchased for around €52 million during the boom.

Prior to submitting the Strategic Housing Development application to An Bord Pleanála, Marlet engaged in pre-planning consultation with the planning body, which concluded in August.

Complete turnaround

Marlet’s plans highlight the complete turnaround in the property market in less than five years. In 2014, around half of the site the company has assembled was publicly marketed for sale, with the selling agents indicating that the site, when sold, would likely be redeveloped as either retail warehousing or as a standalone supermarket or discount store.

At the time, large-scale apartment building in Dublin was considered financially unviable by developers, with the exception of some high-end apartment sites in Dublin 4.

Belgard Gardens, with ambitions for more than 1,500 apartments in all, is no doubt inspired by the rapid growth of Dublin’s burgeoning Private Rental Sector. Marlet saw the sector’s potential profitability in June, 2017, when it launched its Dublin Living portfolio of 1,170 apartments across four sites in a forward funding transaction, with an asking price of €425 million.

Marlet eventually ended talks to sell Dublin Living, which would have been Ireland’s largest single Private Rental Sector portfolio sale. But it highlights the scale of Belgard Gardens, where the residential element alone is significantly larger than Dublin Living’s four large developments combined.

REF: Irish Times