Dublin City Council has given the green light for plans to demolish Kiely’s pub in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, in order for shared co-living accommodation to be built.

The council gave permission for a scaled-down plan by Shane Whelan’s Westridge Real Estate, which allows for 91 shared living units across six floors. Each floor will include communal kitchens, and living and dining spaces. There will be significant on-site amenities, including roof terraces, a screening room, a gym, and co-working spaces.

The original plan comprised of seven storeys and 100 units. The council also ordered that all rooms be a minimum width of three metres, a decision likely to result in less units being built overall.

Westridge purchased the property in 2019, for a value in excess of €5m.

The developers stated in their planning report that they anticipate the effects of the pandemic to be over in the short to medium term, and that the proposed development could be operational in two to three years.

The go-ahead was given despite over 110 objections being submitted, including from Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Hazel Chu, Chris Andrews TD and Cllr Dermot Lacey.

Lord Mayor Chu said that that in the middle of a homelessness and housing crisis, “Co-living is a dangerously complacent attempt to address the crisis in the capital’s rental market”.

The Minister for Housing recently announced that he would restrict the construction of shared living schemes, however Dublin City Council still pressed ahead with permission for this latest development.

Senator Bacik pointed out the high density of of co-living units granted planning permission in Dublin: “Recently, UCD’s Orla Hegarty estimated that between developments that have already been approved and those currently seeking permission, there may be 3,000 co-living units in Dublin City by the time the ban is actually implemented.”

Kiely’s has a long association with author Paul Howard’s character, Ross O’Carroll Kelly and was a favoured haunt of locals, especially on match days.

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