We can probably all agree that Blackrock, Co. Dublin is one of the healthier addresses in the capital.
The college of the same name is the alma mater of presidents, ministers and judges. His rugby skills produced Leo Cullen, Brian O’Driscoll and Luke Fitzgerald. No wonder everyone who can afford it wants to live there. Residents are offered a beautiful park and nearby nature reserve, the Dart Line, a first class private hospital, an upmarket village and shopping malls with restaurants and bars, and beautiful sea views.
The real estate agent blurb writes itself. Indeed, one imagines when locals arrive at the stage of life where they’re rattling around in their magnificent homes, downsizing (or “rightsizing” as the developers put it) is attractive . Freeing up oodles of tax-free cash and moving into a smaller but luxurious home to comfortably spend their days sounds like a reasonable life goal for the 1%.
Since the housing shortage is a disaster of equal opportunities, finding an apartment is not easy. Finding it in the neighborhood you’ve grown to love, close to the people you want to socialize with, seems like a tough one. Step up Tetrarch.
The property developer has made an initial payment of €700,000 to Blackrock College Rugby Club in order to apply for permission to build 108 senior citizens’ housing units on its Stradbrook Road site. Now forget all thoughts of snuggling around a heating rod while you warm a plate of beans and toast for tea. Residents will enjoy a “golf simulator” room, movie theater, library, gym, hydrotherapy room, spa and private members’ clubroom while relaxing their limbs in the rooftop hot tubs.
Locals should be overjoyed at the luxuries that await their senior years, which will clearly be priced high enough to keep the rabble out. Not so. In fact, the objections are so fierce that the Blackrock Clinic may face a stroke. One called the proposal “visually obtrusive”. Another claimed the “illegally parked” vehicles over the weekend due to games and training would result in the footpath being blocked and “potential loss of life”. crikey.
A former judge argued that the apartments would “destroy the place” and “create chaos.” Certainly the dumbest objection was the statement that the inclusion of 64 bicycle parking spaces was “blatantly contradictory” in a development for older people. Maybe a room with 64 rocking chairs would have been more appropriate, right?
Whatever the outcome (a decision is due in November), the fact is that some people are doing well enough to retire softly, enjoying all the privileges they deserve while freeing up severely understaffed family homes , is certainly a good thing. It may well be that none of the objecting children had problems buying a home, but they are in the clear minority.
Will the same protesters feel differently when it’s their turn to search for suitable housing in their youth?
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/as-housing-crisis-bites-plans-for-new-developments-are-attracting-objections-41967459.html Plans for new developments are met with objections amid the housing crisis