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Councillors rage against ‘monstrosity’ development at site of Prussia Street squat

Plans to build 162 build-to-rent apartments on the site of a former squat have dubbed a “disgrace” by councillors.

The “scale and height” of the development at 23-28 Prussia Street came under fire, as did the build-to-rent model at a meeting of local councillors.

Squatters were allegedly evicted from the site in October last year, sparking mass protests.

A single block – ranging from three to 13 storeys above a basement – would house the apartments.

The 162 units are broken down into 107 one beds, 53 two beds and two three beds.

There will also be a cafe on the ground floor and a cinema at basement level for the residents.

The McGrath Group is developing the site as a Strategic Housing Development, which means it goes to An Bord Pleanala for a decision.

Labour Councillor Declan Meenagh slammed the proposed development for excluding a creche facility.

He said: “The idea that in the middle of a childcare crisis, that a 13 storey building couldn’t find room for a creche is just incredible.

“It really shows the it shows that the respect for local democracy and the facts on the ground doesn’t exist. And it’s actually shows contempt for families in the area.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Joe Costello said the plans “stick out like a sore thumb” compared to the smaller buildings neighbouring it.

He said: “What we needed here was a very careful, sensitive development, not a monstrosity that stands out like a sore thumb, and dominates all the surrounding streets.

“It’s a monstrosity in terms of scale, its height, its massive. It’s gone up from three storeys to 13 stories.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Janice Boylan hit out at the build-to-rent model.

She said: “It’s a fundamentally flawed model. And we’ve seen time and time again that it’s not family friendly, it’s not directed towards sustaining a community.

“And making sure there are provisions for people who want to go on and have families, it’s just doesn’t work. The height and the scale for this development in the area that it’s in, it’s just absolutely monstrous. It’s disgraceful to say the least.”

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