Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has hit out at the lack of appropriate planning being given the go ahead in the South Inner City by Local Authority officials.

It has emerged this month that planning permission has been lodged to develop 235 student bed spaces and 37 rent-to-build units at Sweeney’s Terrace, Dublin 8. This is despite the fact that permission has already been granted for over 2,000 student beds and 1,000 hotel rooms.

The Crumlin based Senator and Dublin South Central General Election candidate raised the matter in Seanad Éireann earlier today.

“The South Inner City is undergoing a great deal of transformation and its vibrancy and inclusiveness has made it such a popular location for prospective homeowners. Permanent residents, most of which are families that have been there decades, are therefore struggling to understand why such valuable space suitable for residential homes is primarily being used to erect mass amounts of student and transient accommodation, “ she said.

“The total number of student bed spaces already in use, presently under construction, granted planning permission or proposed in the Dublin 8 region already stands at 3,752. Almost 30% of those are within a matter of metres from the site where planning permission has been most recently lodged for a further 235 students beds.

“The council’s own strategy to appropriately develop the city explicitly states with regards to student units: ‘In assessing proposals, the planning authority will have regard to the pattern and distribution of student accommodation in the locality, and will resist the overconcentration of such schemes in any one area, in the interests of achieving a sustainable mix of development.’

“Meanwhile, the council is taking one of the very last remaining green spaces in the inner city community from longstanding residents and young families. The council’s Parks Strategy 2017-2022 specifies its vision as ‘growing towards a greener and more liveable Dublin City.’ That will no longer be the case considering the provision of green space in the Liberties was already ‘poor’ and its now seized Weaver Square Gardens.

“Three sizable hotels, one aparthotel, and an abundance of student accommodation in a short length of time but now even more transient units are likely to be imposed upon locals. This is not a mixed housing approach and will not help families in need of a permanent home to raise children or those wishing to own their own home in our area.

“The varied housing needs of so many others are being blatantly ignored never mind being appropriately addressed. Is it any wonder those in the South Inner City are losing faith in their best interests being protected,” concluded Senator Ardagh.