Housing plans for former Player Wills factory site

Locals have objected to a high-rise co-living plan to be built on the South Circular Road site. Local TD Patrick Costello spoke to The Liberty.

Plans were submitted in September 2018 to build 732 ‘homes’ and two parks at the former Player Wills factory site on South Circular Road in Dublin 8.

The investment company is U.S. Hines and APG who made the Strategic Housing Application to An Bord Pleanala. Hines said they would build the two parks and then give a completed one back to Dublin City Council.

“I agree The Liberties needs more housing, but it must be the right type of housing; co-living is just not the answer”

Patrick Costello TD.

The plans for the property would include restoration of its original building and an extension to the rear, with residential units, new community hub, artistic and cultural spaces, along with separate commercial spaces for activities like a small business and co-working facilities – in addition to a 19-story apartment tower with co-living accommodation.

An Bord Pleanala has sent a Notice of Pre-Application Consultation Opinion to various departments, such as landscaping, traffic and transport, and waste management. No construction has taken place.

The former Player Wills factory site in Dublin.
Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

An Bord Pleanála lodged the application on 16th December 2020.

Many local people have raised objections to this development.

Earlier this month, Green Party TD Patrick Costello told The Liberty why he opposes aspects of the development.

“I made a planning observation to An Bord Pleanala on the
Player Wills factory citing some of my concerns – most notably was the height of the 19-storey building,” Costello said. “It would be the third largest in Dublin. Furthermore, the co-living nature of the development is also questionable. The height would be significantly out of place with the surrounding two-tier houses while co-living as a model is something I along with the locals fundamentally oppose.

“I agree The Liberties needs more housing, but it must be the right type of
housing; co-living is just not the answer,” he said.

The small size of the units was not a problem in itself, Costello said. “Apartments like all types of houses are in demand in our city. Whilst they may not suit the needs of families, they are certainly a perfect fit for young, working professionals. The issue is that we need proper planned developments delivering sustainable affordable homes.”

“The Liberties has always been a vibrant area of our city and students play a role in this. The cultural diversity of the area is evident for all to see and the area had a plethora of new bars and restaurants pre-pandemic which reflected this.”

Due to fierce opposition of the project, a local group have set up a Facebook and an Instagram page called ‘Players Please’. It is a project aimed at highlighting the past, present and future possibilities for the old Player Wills Factory.

Photo:– A Model of the new residential site at the former Player Wills factory site.


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