Newlands Farm: Over 3,500 residential units planned for Hibernia site

In a series of articles that look at all sides of the story, The Echo examines the proposed plan to seek to rezone the green belt between Tallaght and Clondalkin.

By William O'Connor and Aideen O'Flaherty

HIBERNIA REIT have revealed their development plans for their site at Gateway and Newlands Cross – which they’ve called Newlands Farm – and if the site gets rezoned for residential use the development will cost 100s of millions of euro.

While the developer has not yet confirmed how many residential units they plan to develop on the site, subject to rezoning and planning permission, The Echo understands that over 3,500 residential units, to be a mix of houses and apartments, are planned for the site.

ECHO Belgard Fields 1 of 4 Photo Ben Ryan 1

An aerial view of the 144 acre site at Newlands Farm

Hibernia described the 144-acre greenfield site as “a major underdeveloped site”, and the residential aspect of the plans are to contain a mix of private, affordable and social homes to rent or buy.

Other plans for the proposed works include the development of a new multi-purpose and multi-code sports hub comprising a pavilion and all-weather floodlit pitches to be used by local sporting groups, and the restoration of Whitehall House, known locally as Katharine Tynan House.

According to Hibernia, the proposed sporting and cultural infrastructure for the site will be developed in advance of the construction of any housing, and they stated they are committed to “protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of the site” while building “a sustainable community less reliant on car usage”.

Hibernia plans to create a ‘10-minute neighbourhood’, whereby all the essentials of everyday life are located within a 10-minute walk of all the new homes, thereby minimising the need for car journeys and “promoting a more active and healthier lifestyle”.

A survey of local residents was carried out by the market research company Behaviour and Attitudes last year, on behalf of Hibernia, and the findings of the survey have informed Hibernia’s plans.

Their survey found that 53 per cent of respondents were in favour of new homes, 43 per cent were in favour of more rental accommodation, and 60 per cent saw the development of more homes and apartments to rent, rather than buy, as being a priority.

The primary concerns that respondents had about the development were an increase in traffic levels and “excessive population density”, while 88 per cent wanted the natural environment to be enhanced and for cycling to be encouraged, and 82 per cent wanted more sports facilities in the locality.

Overall, 54 per cent of the respondents said they were optimistic about the plans, 28 per cent said they felt pessimistic about the plans, while 19 per cent were undecided.

A spokesperson for Hibernia told The Echo that the site will be designed “to the highest international standards after detailed consultations with all stakeholders, principally the local community.”

They added that they plan to open up the lands, which are currently inaccessible, to the local community “thereby providing a high-quality parkland amenity and safe walking and cycling routes to the Naas Road/Clondalkin, Belgard Road and the Red Cow Luas stop.”

The plans, however, are still at an early stage and rezoning of the site, which is currently zoned for agricultural uses, to provide for residential development will be required for the development to be considered for planning permission.

Hibernia hopes the site will be rezoned for residential development in the next South Dublin County Development Plan, for the period 2022-2028, which is currently under review.

The spokesperson added: “Unlike many other proposed sites for development, it is already fully serviced for water, power and data, thus reducing the timeline for delivery.”

The Echo also spoke with the Kingswood Heights Residents’ Association, which has described the Hibernia REIT lands as “a vital green lung” to Kingswood and Clondalkin. 

They also expressed concerns over the potential density of the proposed residential aspect of the development plans. Full story HERE

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