Press Release

08/07/2019

Bartra Welcomes An Bord Pleanala’s Guidance on 2018 Shared Living Guidelines

Additional Kitchens/Living Areas required by An Bord Pleanala to feature in all Co-Living developments

Eblana, Dun Loaghaire proposed Co-Living Development

Bartra Capital have reviewed An Bord Pleanala’s decision (19th June 2019) to refuse our Co-Living development at Cookstown. Bartra note that the Bord refused the application inter alia because:

“significant numbers of individual units sharing a single common living/kitchen area on each floor ……………. would fail to provide an acceptable living environment for future residents”

Commenting on the decision Bartra CEO Mike Flannery said:

“In relation to the Bord’s refusal of our application due to inadequate common living/kitchen facilities:

Bartra welcome the Bord’s instructive guidance on what constitutes an acceptable level of common living/kitchen areas. This is the first definitive interpretation of the 2018 Departmental Guidelines.

Bartra is adjusting our scheme designs to align with the Bord’s interpretation and are incorporating a greater number of kitchen/living areas throughout each of our Co-Living developments. 

Bartra have another Co-Living application currently before An Bord Pleanala in Dun Laoghaire.  Bartra are hopeful that the Bord will use their useful clarification of the requisite amounts of kitchen/living space to be provided in its decision on this application.  These clarifications can be easily incorporated into the current design with minimal effect on the proposed elevations.

Our proposals for Co-Living, particularly as submitted in respect of kitchen/living areas were based on extensive market research of future residents preferences commissioned with Behaviour & Attitudes.

Bartra remain very positive about the benefits of Co-Living, particularly the positive contribution such accommodation provides in terms of social interaction, positive mental health and smaller environmental footprint.

Bartra look forward to bringing this internationally successful form of accommodation to Ireland and making a positive contribution to the accommodation crisis in Ireland.”

Editor’s Note/Background

Shared accommodation facilities are provided for and allowed under the design standards for new apartments 2018 published by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. Bartra’s Cookstown application (under its Co-Living trading name of Niche Living) was the first ever application in Ireland for this form of accommodation.

Co-living is one form of accommodation that can respond to society’s shifting demographics, living patterns and labour force movement.

It is a widely used concept and practice throughout many housing markets, some more mature than Dublin. This includes Vienna, London and New York.

There is currently no accommodation being targeted specifically at single employed people. One bedroom apartments are the preserve of couples or very high single earners.

The Department of Housing has recognised the need to cater for people’s needs in a different way and this is why it has been factored in the National Planning Guidelines.

Change to Bartra Kitchen/Living Facilities to comply with An Bord Pleanala Guidance

Bartra’s original kitchen configuration (submitted in our Cookstown and Dun Laoghaire planning applications) was based on research evidence from surveys and predicted usage patterns of the kitchen areas.  This research indicated that the best way of ensuring that there were enough residents in the kitchen area at a particular time to create a social environment was to have a single large space designed with multiple but separate “cooking areas”.  A “cooking area” comprised of a cooking hob, multiple ovens, microwaves, sinks, food preparation area and access to a bank of large fridge freezers. 

Note that this large kitchen area was in addition to in-room cooking facilities that included a microwave, fridge freezer, sink, toaster and kettle.

Based on An Bord Pleanala’s guidance in their Cookstown decision Bartra will need to provide more kitchens on each floor (as opposed to a single large kitchen) providing residents with a choice of kitchens on each floor.  So, by way of example, where previously there were 40 rooms that had a single large kitchen area attached with multiple cooking stations there will now be more than one kitchen (up to three depending on the site), each of which will contain multiple cooking areas. 

Bartra will adjust its designs for all sites going forward to adhere with these requirements from An Bord Pleanala.  Bartra will also provide additional kitchens on each floor of its Dun Laoghaire site currently before the Bord for decision. 

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