Mulryan’s Ballymore gets green light for 435 apartments on Royal Canal

Ballymore Group founder Sean Mulryan

Shawn Pogatchnik

Sean Mulryan's Ballymore Homes has won fast-track planning approval to build 435 apartments in blocks up to 13 storeys high on the site of the demolished Ormond Printworks in Dublin.

The 1.9-hectare site sits north of the Royal Canal, south of Tolka Valley Park and just 650m from the Broombridge train and Luas station to the east along the canal towpath.

An Bord Pleanála granted permission subject to 23 conditions. These included an order not to allow the final 135 apartments to be occupied until adequate sewage services for the development were confirmed; the need for an archaeologist’s analysis of the site; and installation of “enhanced acoustic glazing” for apartment windows facing the nearby Irish Rail line.

In the accompanying 65-page inspector’s report, inspector Tom Rabbette found that the proposed development would deliver “much needed rejuvenation”. He noted that the demolished printworks employed 75, whereas the new development – with plans for offices, a primary health care facility, pharmacy, crèche, gym and juice bar – was projected to create 295 jobs on site.

The apartments all will be one and two-bed units.

Mr Rabbette noted that, while two of the five blocks would reach 13 storeys, they would remain below the local area plan’s cap of 50 metres on building height. He said the Ballymore design would not “have an adverse visual impact on the immediate or wider area” and did not require height reductions.

“The existing visual amenities the site offers are, at best, poor,” he wrote. The proposed development “is replacing a utilitarian brownfield wasteland with a new mixed-use urban block”.

The plan includes 257 car parking spaces, all but 15 of them ‘undercroft’ – that is, at ground-floor level within the blocks. Forty-eight spaces will be reserved for commercial use by the offices and retail outlets to be located on site.

The application generated 33 objections, including that the local Pelletstown primary school already was full and dependent on temporary buildings; local child care outlets have long waiting lists; existing rail and Luas services were overcrowded during peak hours; and the canal location suffers from anti-social behaviour and rats.

Mr Mulryan, a Roscommon native who founded Ballymore in 1982, exited Nama in 2016 after paying off debts totalling €3.2bn. He currently is ranked in 185th place on the ‘Sunday Independent’ Irish Rich List with an estimated worth of €93m, up €11m on 2019.

His firm is heavily focused on urban regeneration projects, particularly in London and Dublin. It lists active developments with a projected gross development value of €5.5bn, and has a forward pipeline of more than 7,500 homes and 1.5 million sq ft of commercial space.

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