Ballymun could be the location of Trinity’s newest student accommodation, if proposals from the Ballymun Regeneration Limited (BRL) are accepted.
The College is currently seeking tenders from contractors to build a complex large enough to accommodate 1,000 students. The College has specified that it is looking for proposals that offer developments within a 2.5km radius of the university or a 30-minute rush-hour commute.
BRL was founded by Dublin City Council in 1997 to oversee the development of the town. €2.5 billion later, the town has seen a huge change. Following the demolition of the Ballymun Towers, affordable housing and apartments have been built, as well as eco-friendly private developments.
The area has also seen the construction of parks, playgrounds and playing fields. As part of the regeneration, the new town has recently opened the BRL Umbro Sports Arena that is one of the top FAI Futsal (indoor 5-a-side soccer) facilities in Ireland.
Ballymun has a new Arts and Community Centre and a new Leisure Centre with swimming pool and gym on its Main Street. A civic centre and theatre have also been added.
It is believed that these new facilities have been highlighted in the proposal as examples of how the town now provides the cultural, sporting and ancillary facilities necessary to providing students with top class accommodation.
Student accommodation already exists in Ballymun, known as the Gateway Student Village. The project boasts 109 new apartments, built especially for Dublin’s student community.
Located on the main Ballymun Road, the complex is within easy walking distance of shops, sports facilities including a gym, swimming pool, pharmacy, banks and a library. The Omni Park Cinema and Shopping Centre in Santry are just ten minutes walk away.
However, located at over eight kilometres from the city centre, Ballymun is outside the required catchment area as specified by the College.
Nevertheless, BRL argue that the town is well serviced by bus routes and within cycling distance of campus. The prosed Metro North Luas line would also mean that Ballymun will be just five stops from the centre of Dublin. This line is due for completion in 2013.
Trinity College Student Union President Conan O Broin commented, saying that: “we will be discussing this matter with the relevant college officials in the near future and keeping the students fully informed as to developments.”