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LDA and DCC Unveil Bluebell Waterways Plans As Housing Starts Surge

The LDA and DCC have published draft plans for nearly 400 new homes in D12.

The Land Development Agency and Dublin City Council have released draft plans for a new social and affordable housing development called Bluebell Waterways in Dublin 12. 

Located beside the 5th Lock on the Grand Canal at the former filter bed complex, the site will comprise 389 sustainable homes in a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bed apartments, the partners said. The homes will be delivered on a 2.8-hectare council-owned site. The project will include community spaces, a creche and landscaped open spaces. 

Around 35% of the LDA-managed homes will be social, and the remaining 65% will be cost-rental apartments providing secure long-term rental accommodation at discounted market rates. DCC will offer existing residents of the Bluebell maisonettes the first of the social homes.   

Meetings and workshops are planned over the next two months to garner feedback on the design of the development through an online process.   

“We have reached a vital stage in the process of delivering Bluebell Waterways,”  DCC Director of Housing Delivery Dave Dinningan said in a statement. “This project will revitalise the Dublin 12 area by supporting existing services while creating a safe and social environment with new community amenities for existing and future residents.”

Housing commencement data analysed by Goodbody Analytics showed a surge in activity in the first quarter, with starts up 67% year-over-year. The major contributions are coming from both scheme housing, which is up 56%, and apartment building, up 107%, Goodbody said.

Apartments accounted for 41% of the housing starts in Q1, and Goodbody estimated that a total of 12,297 units commenced during the quarter, taking total starts over the past 12 months to about 38,000, ahead of current government targets.

The surge in Q1 could be related to the scheduled ending of a temporary waiver on development contributions, previously introduced for a 12-month period and due to conclude on 24 April. That may have incentivised builders to bring forward construction.

“Given the success in increasing output, the government should extend the waiver. The new Taoiseach's speech suggested that is under active consideration,” Goodbody Chief Economist Dermot O’Leary said in a note.

Regionally, the Greater Dublin Area accounted for the majority, 59%, of new housing commencements in Q1, with 68% of those made up of city apartments. There was also a strong increase in scheme housing commencements, Goodbody said.