Dublin City Council orders redesign of DIT Grangegorman student accommodation

Council warns developments could disrupt transport and residential facilities in Grangegorman area

Development plans to increase student accommodation near the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Grangegorman campus have been criticised by Dublin City Council (DCC). The council has rejected two development plans and requested their redesign, arguing they could cause disruption for residents and commuters in the area.

The larger of the two plans would entail demolishing Park Shopping Centre on Prussia Street, to be replaced with a six-storey structure with 541 student bed spaces. The scheme would also entail new shopping facilities. DCC has raised concerns about the “overall height, scale and massing” of the structure.

The council also warned this will clash with National Transport Authority plans to install a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line connecting Blanchardstown to UCD.

The second plan is designated for a former Christian Brothers site east of the main campus, situated between the North Circular Road and Rathdown Road. Developers say this plan will provide 440 new student bed spaces. DCC has warned this could threaten the nearby Great Western Square area, which is an architectural conservation site.

DCC has also asked the developers to explain why they are focusing on student accommodation at this time rather than “standard residential accommodation”. This request was made “having regard to the likelihood of future development of on-campus student accommodation in Grangegorman and the demand for housing in the city”.

The council also requested evidence that these facilities will be used by third-level or higher education students: “In this regard the applicant [the developers] is requested to submit evidence of links with these institutions or expressions of interest in the facility.”

There are currently two developers attached to the scheme: Park Shopping Centre Ltd to the Prussia Street site and Ziggurat to the North Circular Road site. Both developers have six months to respond to the council’s requests.

The new DIT campus is to be built on the site of the former St Brendan’s Hospital. The project is estimated to be completed by 2020, along with accommodation for 8,000 students in all. Residents have voiced fears of student saturation. Students would make up 60% of the Grangegorman population if these projects are successful.

DIT has said it has not given consent or commitment to any off-campus accommodation projection. It said it plans to provide on-campus accommodation for up to 2,000 students.