The Donore Project is the working title for the lands outlined in red on the map shown on the Home page. The Land Development Agency (LDA), in collaboration with Dublin City Council (DCC) as the landowners, will be progressing plans for the development of this site, formerly known as St. Teresa’s Gardens within the parameters of a joint Masterplan Framework that was prepared by DCC in conjunction with the developers of the adjacent Bailey Gibson and Players Wills sites - Hines APG.
Working closely with the key stakeholders, including the St Teresa’s Gardens Regeneration Board and local community, the LDA aim to progress with plans for the development of a new compact and integrated urban community and achieve a new chapter for this diverse and historic area of Dublin City.
The LDA are a commercial, State-sponsored body that has been created to coordinate land within State control for more optimal uses where appropriate, with a focus on the provision of housing.
The LDA will improve the way the housing market functions by:
- Working with State bodies and Local Authorities to make more effective use of State lands, providing a stable, sustainable supply of land for housing.
- Improving the planning system to facilitate State lands being used for housing.
- Acquiring and developing land in a selective, targeted way that boosts housing supply.
- Delivering rental market initiatives that provide affordable mass-market tenure.
- Investing in research and innovation to identify new and better ways to deliver new homes.
- Providing high-level expertise underpinned by robust governance.
In 2020 the LDA reached agreement with the Dublin City Council to develop a design and planning application for social and cost-rental housing on the St Teresa’s Gardens Site. A design team has been appointed by the LDA and the consultation and information stage is beginning in Quarter 1 2021.
Cost-rental housing is accommodation provided at below market rates to qualifying residents. The exact rates and qualifying process will be determined under Government policy. Further details are to be provided regarding the Donore Project as we progress detailed plans later in the year.
A key aim is to provide social and cost-rental housing on this site. As we progress the plans, more information will be made available on the tenure mix.
The project is currently at an early phase of development and therefore the timeline is still being determined. However, we are currently targeting a planning submission in Q1 2022 and subject to approvals, construction to be commenced in 2023. Updates to this timeline will be announced as the project progresses.
It is envisaged circa 700 new homes will be provided over four separate buildings. The total of new homes to be provided will be determined by the planning and regulatory requirements for a development of this nature.
A nominal amount of studio apartments will be provided as part of the cost rental accomadation. These will be in line with the National Design Standard for New Apartments and will be a minimum of 30m2. There will be no studio apartments provided as part of the social housing.
A masterplan is a strategic planning document that provides a conceptual layout to guide future growth and development generally over a considerable period of time. Masterplanning is about setting out the desgn and development principles and making the connection between buildings, social settings, and their surrounding environments.
The current masterplan for the site includes analysis, recommendations, and proposals for the area’s population, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, and land use. It is based on public input, surveys, planning initiatives, existing development, physical characteristics, and social and economic conditions.
The current masterplan was prepared by Dublin City Council in association with Hines APG and was published in January 2020. The Masterplan explicitly recognises the changed circumstances in planning policy since the adoption of the Development Framework for St. Teresa’s Gardens & Environs in 2017, most notably with the publication of the National Planning Framework and the Eastern and Midlands Regional Spatial Economic Strategy, together with Ministerial Guidelines that include Guidelines on Urban Development and Building Heights and Design Standards for New Apartments 2018. The LDA will progress the proposals to develop the lands in line with the current masterplan.
SHD was introduced by Government in 2016 as a measure to speed up delivery of housing, by permitting proposed residential developments in excess of 100 units to apply directly to An Bord Pleanála, and for the Board to make decisions within a 16 week period. These legislative provisions are dure to expire at the end of 2021, and to date no decisions have been taken by Government as to whether it will be replaced, or whether decision making will revert back to the Local Authorities under the Section 34 process.
Hines APG are developing the Bailey Gibson and Player Wills areas of the overall Masterplan within this Strategic Development and Regeneration Area across three separate phases and are delivering much of the infrastructure and public space to support the overall development. The Donore Project is seeking to progress plans for a new neighbourhood including Social and Cost-Rental Homes in this centrally located site.
A Judicial Review (JR) was taken against the decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant permission for a residential scheme on the former Bailey Gibson site. A formal decision has not yet been taken in this case, although the High Court has decided to refer a number of questions on European law to the European Court for interpretation. In the interim both Planning Authorities & An Bord Pleanála will continue to assess planning applications based on existing policies and procedures as established under Irish statute.
It is currently targeted to lodge a Planning Application in Q1 of 2022.
The SDRA Framework Plan was prepared before new national guidelines were issued on height, density and apartment layouts to promote more sustainable living within our towns and cities. The SDRA Framework Plan was updated to the Masterplan by DCC and Hines to reflect these national objectives and adopted by DCC planning department.
The remit of the LDA is to provide homes for rent at cost/affordable rates. The construction costs must ultimately be borne by the rental income over time. The greater the number of dwellings, the more that cost is spread, resulting in a lower cost for each individual home.
Certain costs are inherent and do not significantly reduce even if a lower overall number of dwellings is proposed - these include site value, plant space, parking, and ground floor circulation. The overall impact of these costs is reduced per dwelling by spreading them over the maximum number of dwellings.
Building at height has its own inherent costs. However, at a certain point, a reduced number of homes has to bear costs which, in effect, push rental values above what can be considered affordable. The project seeks to strike a balance between increased numbers of homes and increasing costs for reduced numbers.
The masterplan imposes constraints as to how we might accommodate the target numbers - resulting in taller buildings. These constraints are in line with sustainable planning objectives to make best use of land close to urban infrastructure.
Community / Amenities
As part of the overall Masterplan, residents will have access to the new full size Municpal Playing Pitch and changing facilities, a 700m2 playground, a new high quality Central Square public open space and a large play park area. Residents will have access to a range of local retail including cafes, restaurants and creche facilities. All blocks will have access to their own external amenity space and the area benefits from excellent public transport and access to surrounding schools, employment hubs and much more.
There are no plans to provide any sports facilities within the Donore Project however a new full-size Municipal Playing Pitch is intended to be delivered, subject to all approvals, by Hines as part of Phase 3. When completed (to DCC’s specification), the pitch will be handed back for DCC to own and maintain. It will be made available for use by locals and local sporting clubs.
A new 240sqm Community Facility consisting of a sports changing room facility on the ground floor and a boxing club on the first floor is envisaged to be built adjacent to the pitch and to the rear of St. Catherines Community centre, subject to contract agreement between Hines and DCC.
There will be a moderate amount of retail/café space provided as part of the Donore Project to enhance the facilities already proposed as part of the adjacent Baily Gibson and Players Wills development. The exact amount will be determined through the design process based on commercial advice to ensure a sustainable level of provision is delivered.
A creche will be provided as part of the Donore Project development. The wider masterplan will deliver a variety of open spaces providing children’s play areas in various formats.
Quality older person accomodation will be provided in accordance with relevant national and local policies. These dwellings are currently located to the south east of block DCC 3 overlooking Players Park and closest to amenities provided in the adjacent developments. Qualifying future residents will be offered a choice to live in a designated older persons dwelling or in a general social housing dwelling.
Sustainability / Environment Impact
The definition of sustainable development can vary from place to place however the general principles can be distilled into a series of high-level aims which will inform the emerging designs for this site. They include:
- Prioritising walking, cycling and public transport, and minimise the need to use cars;
- Delivering a quality of life which residents and visitors are entitled to expect, in terms of amenity, safety and convenience;
- Providing a good range of community and support facilities, where and when they are needed and that are easily accessible;
- Presenting an attractive, well-maintained appearance, with a distinct sense of place and a quality public realm that is easily maintained;
- Promoting easy to access for all and making it easy to find one’s way around;
- Providing a mix of land uses to minimise transport demand;
- Enhancing and protecting green infrastructure and biodiversity; and
- Enhancing and protecting the built and natural heritage.
Above all, it is crucial that central sites such as the Donore Project are developed at higher densities in order to make more efﬁcient use of state land and energy resources, creating a consolidated urban form which fosters the development of compact neighbourhoods and a critical mass which contributes to the viability of economic, social, and transport infrastructure. A variety of housing typologies within the development will promote a diverse choice of housing options in terms of size and tenure.
The proposed development will be subjected to rigorous environmental assessments, including Appropriate Assessment to assess any potential impacts on European Sites (Natura 2000), and Environmental Impact Assessment on all aspects of the wider environmental. These assessments will be underpinned by extensive baseline surveys, including ecology and biodiversity. The EIA will also identify a number of potential mitigation measures and these can be included in the Construction & Environmental Management Plan which will accompany the application.
Transport / Car Parking
A Traffic and Transport Assessment will be prepared to support a planning application for the proposal, this will set out the impact of the development on the transport network and if deemed required, mitigating measures will be proposed to address any significant impacts. It is however envisaged that the low carbon, sustainable led approach to the development should mean the traffic impacts of the proposals are negligible.
A Mobility Management Plan will also be prepared to support the application which will detail the measures to change travel behaviour to support sustainable travel over cars.
The amount of parking is yet to be determined however the scheme will be designed to promote Dublin City Council’s step change away from car usage and to integrate with Dublin’s cycle and public transport network.
A network of pedestrian and cycle connections are proposed within the development site, these have been designed to integrate with the proposals by other developers in the area. These connections will provide accessibility to the local environment including shops, schools and public transport services. For cyclists, parking will be provided for residents and visitors. This bicycle parking will be provided at a rate of approximately 1.5 spaces per residential unit. Secure, covered parking will be provided for residents and secure on-street parking will be provided for visitors.
A Traffic Management Plan (TMP) will be prepared by the appointed contractor which will outline access/egress routes for construction traffic entering/exiting the Donore Project site. The appointed Main Contractor will also be appointed as Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS), within this the Contractor will be responsible for ensuring safety regarding construction traffic.
The former St. Teresa's Gardens lands are owned by Dublin City Council (DCC). The ownership of the lands will remain with DCC through the planning and future stages on the project. With the successful delivery of the social and cost-rental homes, the ownership of the cost-rental homes only would transfer to the LDA, subject to all required approvals. Ownership of public open space and associated infrastructure will also remain with DCC.
Dublin City Council's differential rents scheme will deteremine the rent charges applied on the Social Housing units.
The rent values for the LDA cost rental homes will be determined by government policy in relation to affordable housing generally and will also reflect the proposed development's location in Dublin City.
The principle of cost rental housing is that the rents charged are sufficient to cover the cost of delivery of the homes and the ongoing management costs of the homes.
Following the enacting of the government's policy in this area, the LDA will work with the Department of Housing to establish the application and qualifying processes for our cost-rental homes.
These sporting facilities will be owned by DCC. However, DCC is engaging with a local sporting umbrella group, namely Sporting Liberties, with a view to agree a forward thinking strategy on how best to manage these facilities.
The plans will be available in due course for viewing at the website www.donoreproject.ie. The Consultation Process will have four stages. Phase A - Initial Communication, Phase B - Initial proposal Engagement Phase C - Detailed Proposal Engagement and Phase D - Planning. Full details on these stages are available on the website
There is a comprehensive engagement process for the Donore Project which provides a series of opportunities at key stages for people to get involved. At these key stages, feedback is sought from the community, stakeholders and interested parties by the Design Team to inform the process of moving towards detailed designs for the planning application stage.
The engagement phases, start with this introductory communications and information gathering phase , where we aim to gather feedback through a survey and disucssions with key stakeholders. After considering views on this stage, we will return with a more detailed masterplan, and update you on how the feedback was considered in the design approach. Again, you will have the chance to feedback on this.
Following this, we will complete our designs and make an application for planning permission.
While COVID-19 19 has severely challenged the possibility of holding physical consultation events, we aim to hold virtual events, meetings and calls as well as our initial leaflet drop.
We aim to provide all information available on the website www.donoreproject.ie and on a print friendly pdf that can be downloaded by colleagues and shared or sent upon request to the Community Liaison Office. If possible we will also provide information at public locations in the area.
The LDA has a Community Liaison Officer to support and engage, and at any stage of the consultation, you can send us your thoughts or suggestions in relation to the project. We welcome all feedback through our community engagement portal on the website www.donoreproject.ie and virtual room, but we also welcome feedback through email or post to the details below.
We will regularly update stakeholders, using a variety of communications including, public notices, media, the project website, and direct contact. If you would like to sign up to receive updates on the project via text or email, please go here.
Phase B concept proposals are intentionally at a very early stage of design in order to allow the Project Team gauge local perception of the proposed scheme. It is envisaged that feedback received throughout Phase B will guide the design for the scheme where possible. There is also Phase C to occur later this year which will focus on the Project Team's detailed design proposals. The detailed design presented in Phase C will have responded to comments/queries received throughout Phase A and B where possible.