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  • Southside

History is made as the ground is broken for new Southside town

Wednesday, 15th February, 2017 8:00am

Story by Neil Fetherstonhaugh
History is made as the ground is broken for new Southside town

Leo O’Brien (eight months) pictured at a breaking ground ceremony at Cherrywood last week. PHOTO: KEITH ARKINS

History is made as the ground is broken for new Southside town

Leo O’Brien (eight months) pictured at a breaking ground ceremony at Cherrywood last week. PHOTO: KEITH ARKINS

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THE historic first steps were taken in the construction of a new town last week that is set to transform the Southside landscape.

Work on what has been described as one of the most ambitious large-scale development plans in the history of the State was marked by a traditional turning of the sod ceremony last Thursday at Cherrywood.

The landmark event paves the way for the first phase of the €160m project that will see the development of 4,000 homes as well as a major road, cycleway and pedestrian pathway network and three large parks over the next 15 months.

Over 180 new construction jobs will be created in order to build the three parks and 5.4 kilometres of roadways, pedestrian footpaths, cycle paths and greenways. The first phase of development will be completed by spring 2018 and eventually the total number of people working on the Cherrywood project will rise to over 280.

This first phase will also see the early planting of over 3,000 mature trees including oak and cherry varieties that will make for a well-established landscape prior to the arrival of Cherrywood’s new residents.

The cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Cllr Cormac Devlin, was joined by Ministers Simon Coveney and Mary Mitchell-O’Connor and Senior Managing Director of Hines Ireland, Brian Moran, at the official turning of the sod.

Speaking at event Cllr Devlin said: “Cherrywood and its hinterland of Brides Glen, Lehaunstown and Brennanstown have a rich historic legacy. Today will see this area embark on a new historic journey of its own.  

“Cherrywood will be an exceptional development of residential, office, retail and multi-use parkland that will be at the vanguard of new town planning, not just in Ireland, but across the EU.

“This first phase will provide almost 4,000 much-needed, new high quality homes which will provide a mixture of houses, apartments and townhouses.  These units will accommodate almost 15,000 people over the nex three years.

“Eventually Cherrywood will support over 7,700 new homes, with a population of up to 30,000 people living in an area developed sympathetically with the landscape, supporting our natural heritage in a superb geographic location.”

The 400-acre Cherrywood site was acquired in November 2014 with SDZ approval for the construction of a new retail-led mixed-use town centre and zoning capacity to upgrade the second largest office park in Dublin.

The Guest of Honour at the ground-breaking, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney, said Cherrywood would in time prove enormously important in addressing a need to construct quality housing initiatives of scale in the greater Dublin area.

“Cherrywood is a flagship project that promises to make a major contribution to the Government’s aim of achieving a dramatic increase in the delivery of much needed housing in the greater Dublin area,” he said.

“The project has been prioritised by my department as a Major Urban Housing Development Site and we are working in close partnership with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to expedite its early delivery.

“Notwithstanding the major push for new quality housing supply, I am heartened also to see key environmental and amenity facilities coming to the fore with the up-front delivery of three major parks, roads, cycle and greenways at Cherrywood.”

Brian Moran, Senior Managing Director of Hines Ireland, said they were delighted that construction is now underway on this phase of development for the new town of Cherrywood.

“Since acquiring the site in 2014, Hines’ vision has been to deliver a high quality, amenity-led environment at Cherrywood through the development of large parks and an excellent transport infrastructure,” he said.

“The upfront delivery of the roads, cycle and pedestrian network and three wonderful parks is a pivotal moment for the Cherrywood project.

“These will be the green lungs for this modern new town. This not only strikes the right environmental note for Cherrywood to come but it also underpins our commitment to expedite the delivery of the 4,000 modern new homes within the Hines land holding.

“We are acutely aware of the enormous public demand for new housing stock and the submission of planning for the new €875 million Cherrywood Town Centre in the coming months will include 1,300 new smart design apartments as part of this highly ambitious plan.”

The new park facilities comprise 82 acres at three separate locations in Cherrywood. Tully Park (22 acres) will be immediately adjacent to the planned town centre and will be equivalent in size to St Stephen’s Green; Beckett Park (13 acres) will be located at the northwestern end of the SDZ and will be similar in size to Dublin’s Merrion Square.

Ticknick Park (47 acres) will be the largest park facility by far and will include five multi-use grass playing pitches, a pavilion building, greenway cycle and pedestrian routes as well as connecting paths acting as a gateway to the Dublin Mountain Way hiking routes.

All three parks will be interconnected by a network of dedicated pedestrian and cycle routes running through the new town.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, said Cherrywood promises to be a strong source of employment growth in the years to come.

“Hines’ plans for Cherrywood are especially welcome at a time when Dublin is suffering from a housing shortage.

“As a TD for Dun Laoghaire I appreciate that this development will not only provide much needed housing and commercial property solutions but that it will also deliver many good quality jobs for the area.”

Deputy Maria Bailey (FG) who is the Chair of the Oireachtas Housing Committee,  also warmly welcomed the commencement of construction of the Cherrywood Project.

“I was delighted to attend the groundbreaking ceremony at Cherrywood this morning,” she said. “I believe that the joined-up planning of the development here represents a new era of town planning in Ireland.

“I am strongly supportive of the plan to build a fully functioning and vibrant community and I applaud the vison that brought these plans to fruition.

“Cherrywood will represent an autonomous community complete with high quality housing, a bespoke retail area, as well as six new schools. There will also be a strong focus on recreation with three landscaped parks and a large amount of natural green space.”

A detailed planning application is to be submitted in the coming months for the new €875m Cherrywood Town Centre comprising shops, restaurants, a multi-screen cinema and bowling alley, as well as 1,300 apartments immediately adjacent to the Cherrywood Luas.

This will result in the creation of an expected 3,000 jobs during its construction and development phase.

To coincide with the event, Hines hosted a series of public open days to outline its vision for the new Cherrywood Town Centre.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit called for an increase in the proposed 10 per cent of homes that are allocated for social housing on the site.

“The development in Cherrywood will bring 8,000 new homes over the coming years,” he said. “Under Government legislation the central developer, Hines, has only to provide 10 per cent for social housing. We are calling for this to be increased as an absolute minimum, to 20 per cent in the context of the worst housing crisis in the history of the State.

 “This would greatly alleviate the disastrous social housing crisis in the Dun Laoghaire and Ballybrack areas and bring some hope to families languishing on the waiting list.”

Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 192 cities in 20 countries. Since entering Europe in 1991, Hines had grown its European platform to include a presence in 30 cities in ten countries. Hines Europe has over €13 billion* of assets under management in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Brian Moran of Hines Ireland, Minister Mary Mitchell O Connor, cathaoirleach Cormac Devlin, Minister Simon Coveney, and deputies Maria Bailey and Kate O’Connell turn the first sod. Brian Moran of Hines Ireland speaks with the cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire and Rathdown Couny Council and Minister fSimon Coveney at the launch last week. An artist’s impression of the centre of the new town.

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