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LDA launches public consultation on plan to deliver up to 600 homes in Limerick at St Joseph’s Hospital site

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LDA launches public consultation on plan to deliver up to 600 homes in Limerick at St Joseph’s Hospital site

LDA launches public consultation on plan to deliver up to 600 homes in Limerick at St Joseph’s Hospital site
December 04
11:07 2023

The Land Development Agency (LDA) has launched a public consultation process on plans for up to 600 homes at the St Joseph’s Hospital site beside Colbert Station in Limerick. The HSE-owned site, identified for transfer to the LDA under Housing for All, is one of the key development sites of the Colbert Quarter area in Limerick.

A new draft masterplan for the 6.4-hectare site identifies the potential for the phased delivery of between 500 and 600 new affordable and social homes, 1000 sq metres of community space and a significant amount of open green space, with the latter accounting for 35% of the entire site area.

It is proposed that approximately 70% of the homes are to be made available as cost rental, with up to 20% for purchase and 10% social housing. The masterplan also includes proposals for an urban greenway, new community facilities and amenities, local shops, a farm café, workspaces, playstreets, gardens and a creche.

The LDA published The Colbert Quarter Spatial Framework in December 2022 following an extensive period of engagement with stakeholders, including the HSE, Limerick City and County Council, and the wider community. The framework outlined how areas could be developed with the potential to deliver up to 2,800 new homes together with new community facilities, parks, open space and commercial properties.

After extensive stakeholder engagement, the LDA has now released a draft masterplan for the St Joseph’s Hospital site with further proposals expected for other parts of the Colbert Quarter at a later stage.

The draft masterplan presents an opportunity for members of the public and other interested bodies and stakeholders to examine the proposals for the St Joseph’s Hospital site and to make any observations to the LDA by 5pm on December 15th 2023.

It also outlines how the proposed project has involved extensive engagement with the HSE, Limerick City and County Council (LCCC), and Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ). Particular attention was paid to how the site could be developed for housing while still allowing the HSE to operate and further develop its existing healthcare campus. It is expected that planning permission will be sought for phase 1 in early 2025.

St. Joseph’s Hospital is an important site within the Colbert Quarter Spatial Framework and is located to the east of the Colbert Quarter area. The site currently contains a number of buildings, including protected structures, which host a variety of HSE and Tusla uses.

The draft masterplan identifies areas of public land within the site, which are to be redeveloped for affordable housing to create a compact and vibrant urban community in the heart of Limerick City. In addition, it details how the HSE is making land available for affordable housing while also retaining a secure healthcare campus including new healthcare facilities, a new access road and controlled emergency access points.

The proposed housing development will be well-connected to the wider Colbert Quarter and within a short walk or cycle from Limerick City Centre. The proposals include high quality streets, public squares and gardens in addition to the retention of the area’s mature trees.

The St Joseph’s Hospital building itself is not included in the proposals, but there are plans to convert some of the other protected buildings on the site – Elmhurst House and the Chapel – into new community spaces. Meanwhile the new housing developments are due to be located at a suitable distance from the existing buildings.

The planned homes involve a mix of apartments and houses with different heights and typologies. All ground floors units are proposed to have their own front doors. Houses will have their own front and back gardens and apartments will benefit from private balconies and shared communal open space.

The draft masterplan proposes access to the site via loop roads from Mulgrave Street and from Roxboro Road, preventing through access for vehicles. This is proposed to create a public realm at the centre of the site for active communal usage. A new urban greenway for pedestrians and cyclists is proposed to run from the Roxboro Road through the site to Mulgrave Street.

The design of the proposed development focuses on creating safe, walkable streets, and the promotion of active travel.  The ‘car as guest’ principle allows for sufficient access, drop-off, and parking, for vehicles while ensuring the provision of shared surfaces where pedestrians will have priority, and playstreets which will allows access for emergencies only.

The draft masterplan and an executive summary, both of which can be viewed on www.colbertquarter.ie. The Agency is looking forward to receiving comments and feedback on the proposals. The LDA will also be holding meetings on the plans in Limerick for all stakeholders and interested parties to attend.

In addition to working on the Colbert Quarter, the LDA recently completed the purchase of 81 apartments at The Mills in Castletroy as part of its Project Tosaigh initiative and these apartments are due to be rented to eligible candidates at cost rental rates in 2024. The LDA is also working with Limerick City and County Council to deliver 186 social and affordable homes in Mungret.

John Coleman, chief executive of the LDA, said: “Colbert Quarter represents a fantastic opportunity to regenerate a large part of Limerick City and to deliver a high number of affordable and social homes. We are delighted to be progressing this strategic project and to have published our first masterplan proposals for one of Quarter’s key site. One of main roles of the LDA is to deliver new homes on state-owned land, but this process must also involve creating new, well-served, well-connected, vibrant and sustainable communities. The new draft masterplan for St Joseph’s Hospital contains ambitious proposals that will ultimately create new homes and a new community in what will be a great place to live, work and visit.

The LDA is focused on maximising the potential of state-owned land for affordable and social housing, and engagement with our partners and stakeholders is key to unlocking the potential of key state lands such as this. I would like to thank the HSE, Limerick City and County Council, CIE and other stakeholders who have worked with the LDA on this masterplan. The HSE is making this land available and by doing so the agency is playing an important part in helping to meet the country’s housing need.”

Joe Hoare, Assistant National Director Capital & Estates of the HSE, said:“The HSE welcomes this development and is proud to have worked with the LDA to make the St Joseph’s Hospital site available for affordable and social housing. We have worked collaboratively and positively to support the draft masterplan development and believe that it provides the basis for the delivery of new homes together with a modern healthcare campus on this exceptionally located site in Limerick City Centre.

“There has been considerable engagement between the HSE and the LDA and we are confident that the masterplan for the site offers the best solution for both the HSE’s future plans and the country’s housing need. A key focus for the HSE has been to ensure that the lands it retains are not compromised and maintain appropriate levels of privacy and security given the sensitive healthcare services provided there, now and in the future. Appropriate and clear separation of different circulation patterns is considered critical given the sensitive health and social care services on the St Joseph’s campus. The new LDA led developments will enhance the area and will complement the use of the remainder of the site as a healthcare campus.”

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