The Land Development Agency (LDA) has today launched a draft masterplan and next phase consultation process on its plans for the development of the Digital Hub Campus in Dublin 8. The consultation provides an overview of the Draft proposals for the area, and how the LDA aims to deliver on the vision for the affordable housing-led regeneration of this unique and distinctive 3.7 -hectare site which will also include a vibrant mix of commercial, cultural, and community facilities.
Pear Tree Crossing is the working title the LDA has given to this project, alluding to the pear tree – said to be the oldest fruit bearing tree in Ireland – that sits on the existing site adjacent to the famous St Patrick’s Tower, the oldest standing Smock Windmill in Europe.
The Digital Hub lands have been identified for transfer to the LDA, as part of the Government’s Housing for All strategy, from the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA). This draft masterplan is the next step in the transition, demonstrating the proposals for the regeneration and phased redevelopment of these lands which provide an exceptional opportunity for the LDA to contribute to the development of The Liberties and to transform this currently underutilised area into a new, sustainable urban community with a distinctive identity.
The draft masterplan sets a framework that is the first step in the development of new homes, providing for new neighbourhood plots around a series of urban spaces, incorporating approximately 550 new homes. This will largely be made up of new build and multi-generational affordable and social housing, including the re-use of upper floors of existing structures for residential purposes. The masterplan includes the refurbishment and adaptive re-use of the buildings on Thomas Street to provide for mixed uses at ground floor level with residential use on the upper floors, refurbishment of St Patrick’s Tower for cultural / community uses, re-use of the Watling Warehouse to provide residential homes and, public realm works including public spaces and additional pedestrian and cycling routes.
The proposals are designed to respect the site’s heritage and its unique connection to the local community as well as providing for affordable and social housing, with commercial and community facilities that will support achieving a high quality of life. This will all be done in a way that will deliver enhanced public spaces and biodiversity, and a walkable neighbourhood, opening new linkage points into Dublin 8.
The LDA’s vision for the site is based on three key themes:
- Identity: a development that respects the site’s heritage, that serves the people living and working in it, and delivers new uses drawn from the needs of the local area.
- Living: a development that will deliver affordable and sustainable housing that is people-centred in its design, with inclusive public spaces for old and young.
- Unlocking: an approach that will deliver enhanced green spaces and biodiversity, with a focus on public transport links and creating a walkable neighbourhood.
The Masterplan will be finalised in early 2023 following this period of consultation and engagement, and this will provide details in terms of quantum and phasing. The LDA’s intention is to submit an initial planning application later in 2023, following this public consultation process.
Phased delivery is expected to place from 2024.The DHDA continues to provide a range of services on the existing DHDA Campus including attractive workspace and services to entrepreneurial and creative companies as well as their community and social programmes until at least 2025.
John Coleman CEO of LDA stated: “The LDA is delighted to bring forward this important draft masterplan for the lands at Digital Hub for public consultation. We believe this will catalyse the transformation of a mostly vacant heritage district into a vibrant new sustainable community. Pear Tree Crossing will provide an exceptional opportunity to enhance the Liberties and contribute to the transformation of this currently under-utilised area. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners, stakeholders and the local community as we work towards an exciting new chapter in the heart of Dublin city”
Dearbhla Lawson, Head of Strategic Planning at the LDA said: “The LDA aims to regenerate these lands in a way that will respect the site’s distinctiveness, heritage, and its unique connection to the local community. The draft masterplan provides new affordable and social housing underpinned by strong sustainability, community-oriented values, new connections to improve permeability while respecting the heritage of the historic area.
We look forward to meeting with and hearing from our partners, key stakeholders, and the local community over the coming weeks regarding the draft proposals. Further information is available at www.peartreecrossing.ie”