A PRECEDENT was set recently when a planning scheme for a site in Grangegorman was given the green light.
An Bord Pleanala approved plans for the new urban quarter earmarked for the Northside as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ).
The development, which will incorporate a major education and health campus, as well as sport, recreation and other public amenities, is the first to be approved as a SDZ in Dublin City.
Michael Hand, Chief Executive Officer of the Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA), said the decision was significant as the zoning is only available to major projects that are deemed to have national social and economic importance.
“This project will have a transformative affect on the city of Dublin, as well as contributing an employment stimulus to the construction industry in particular,” he stated.
“It was important that the overall development was agreed from the outset to ensure that it is in keeping with the Development Plan for the city so that everyone knew exactly what would be built on site.”
He added: “This decision provides a planning framework for the development of the 73 acre site into the future and will contribute significantly to regeneration in this part of Dublin's city centre.”
Plans for the site include health facilities, a primary school, a public library and other amenities.
It is also due to become home to the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) which will bring 20,000 students and staff to the campus.
The President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, welcomed An Bord Pleanala’s planning decision, which he said ensured that the plan for DIT’s relocation to Grangegorman would be realised in the future.
“It is very important to us that our new campus will not only provide a leading edge educational environment for DIT students, but that it also contributes to the development of the city and its economy,” he said.
“Our primary role is to develop graduates who will contribute to building Ireland's future and this news is very positive for our future graduates.”
Dublin Labour MEP Emer Costello also welcomed the approval, which she described as “another step in a long road” towards getting the campus and the new urban quarter built.
“The project is a critical regeneration project on a brownfield site in the heart of the North Inner City,” she stated.
“The DIT campus is central to plans for a new urban quarter in the north city neighbourhoods of Phibsboro, Stoneybatter and Cabra.”
She added: “DIT is the country's largest single third level institution with over 20,000 students. The provision of a single campus at Grangegorman would save rent and reduce maintenance and operational costs. Moreover, the new HSE Mental Health Facility is long overdue so that patients can live with dignity.”
The Grangegorman development project was initially approved in 1997. However, it took another 10 years before the agency to spearhead the project was established.
Deputy Costello said she was disappointed with the recent decision not to include Grangegorman in the Government Capital Programme.
“Nevertheless I have been encouraged by the commitment to continue with the project in the long term and the determination of the agency, the DIT and the HSE to continue with the project albeit at a slower pace.” she added.