Publican Charlie Chawke lodged €186m ‘fast track’ plans to construct 299 apartments beside Dublin bar

Charlie Chawke

Gordon Deegan

Publican Charlie Chawke has lodged €186m ‘fast track’ plans to construct 299 apartments on a site beside his Goat Grill bar, in Goatstown, south Dublin.

In the plan, Mr Chawke's Charjon Investments has sought permission from An Bord Pleanala for the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme made up of 299 apartments, a 22 bedroom hotel, six retail outlets, child-care facilities along with the renovation and extension of the Goat Grill.

The development on the 4.6 acre site is made up of four apartment blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height.

Mr Chawke said today: “I am very happy with what is planned and we have given it our best chance."

Mr Chawke said the Goat Grill “has always been the gateway to south Dublin and what we are planning will enhance the area”.

He said: “We are offering something to Goatstown that it hasn’t had before.

“It is always something I always wished to do - put a hotel and apartments there and clean up that site. It is lying idle for an awful long time now.”

On the density of the development, Mr Chawke said: “You can’t be building low density developments nowadays. It is going to be beautiful and please God everyone will be happy about it”.

Mr Chawke said if planning is granted he hopes that construction work will commence before the end of this year.

Mr Chawke’s pub group remains shut due to Covid-19 and he described the Covid impact as terribly depressing.

"At least this development is something that we can feel a bit excited about,” he said.

As part of the plan, Mr Chawke's firm has put an indicative price tag of €16.4m on 30 apartments it is proposing selling to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council to comply with social housing requirements

This is based on Charjon putting an estimated value of €186m on the proposed 299 apartments that includes a value of €12.5m on the site.

The company is planning to sell 17 one-bedroom and 13 two-bedroom apartments to the council and has put an indicative price range of €408,237 to €595,028 on the one-bedroom apartments.

The indicative cost of the two bedroom apartments is €676,169 to €768,297.

The council local area plan for the Goat Grill site specifies only developments of three storeys with an additional set-back storey can be built.

However, planning consultants for Mr Chawke, Tom Phillips & Associates argue the eight storey height is justified.

Mr Phillips argued the scheme “presents an important opportunity to complete and revitalise an established suburban site in a prime location”.

He said the scheme's density is clearly in line with national policy that has set out the need for increased residential densities in appropriate locations.

Mr Phillips said the current height limitation for the site in the Goatstown Local Area Plan “acts as a barrier against this".

He said given the importance of housing delivery in order to meet the ongoing serious under-provision of homes, it is critical that an allowance for the contravention of inappropriate height restrictions can be facilitated.

This can be done where it has been demonstrated that a scheme, such as the one before the board, “comprises a high quality proposal which will create an exemplary living environment for existing and future residents; and where such a proposal constitutes the provision of an active and vibrant neighbourhood centre”.

Mr Phillips said there is ample justification for An Bord Pleanála to permit a material contravention of the Local Area Plan in terms of the planned density.

A separate report lodged with the planssaid the development will provide homes to a wide range of occupiers including families, students, professionals and those looking to downsize.

The report said the site is within 2km of the site are UCD, Sandyford Business Park, Dundrum Shopping Centre, The Beacon Hospital, as well as 3 separate Luas stops and a number of bus routes. A decision is due on the application in June.

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