A development of more than 200 co-living units in Tallaght has been refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanála.

The co-living model provides en-suite bedrooms with shared, communal living areas and is similar to student accommodation but aimed at working professionals.

Batra Capital applied to build 222 co-living units and 150 apartments at Cookstown Industrial Estate. It was the first application for a co-living development to be considered by the Board.

The company had proposed to build 40 co-living units on each floor with a kitchen/living area, cinema and library for residents to use.

In refusing the application, An Bord Pleanála said the co-living format would "fail to provide an acceptable living environment," highlighting what it called a "notable shortfall in the provision of sufficient communal facilities".

Co-living was only recently included in planning regulations and caused significant controversy last month when Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said the prospect could be "exciting" for residents.

A spokesperson for the minister said today: "The Department is satisfied that the co-living guidelines are robust and will continue to monitor the sector."

An Bord Pleanála, which met to consider the Cookstown proposal on 12 June, found the application to be contrary to the ministerial guidelines.

"[The development] would seriously injure the residential amenities of future residence and accordingly would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area".

The board also found that the proposal would represent an uncoordinated and haphazard form of development given the location of the site, "at a remove from the town centre of Tallaght".

It warned that in the absence of an overall strategy for the re-development of the industrial estate, the accommodation would give rise to an "isolated, piecemeal pocket of residential development that is disconnected from shops and amenities".

Bartra has an outstanding application for a co-living development in Dún Laoghaire which is still being considered by An Bord Pleanála.

A brief statement from Batra Capital said: "Bartra note the decision of An Bord Pleanála.  Bartra do not comment on planning applications as they are part of a statutory process."

Proponents of the co-living model say it has already proven successful in other cities such as London and New York and caters for people who want lower rents, closer to their jobs.

However, housing charity Threshold was critical of the proposals for co-living in Ireland.

"The phrase co-living conjures up cosiness but the reality of what developers are planning are industrial in scale," said Threshold CEO, John Mark McCafferty.

Threshold described the ratio of co-living units to shared communal spaces as a "sticking point".

"How many of these interactive spaces are available? It's one thing to be a student passing through. But if you are going to be living there for many years co-living will be very limited in facilitating your life path," John Mark McCafferty added.

"There is a lot of talk of affordable rental but what we are seeing in terms of planning permissions is co-living. Many argue there is a place for co-living but our question is where is the place for affordable rental?"

Local residents group, Tallaght Community Council, which objected to the development, said it was "absolutely delighted" with the decision.

"An Bord Pleanála said there was no coherent plan for the redevelopment of the industrial estate. We have planning in Tallaght with no plan - that's crazy," said Gerard Stockil, spokesperson for TCC.

"While there is room for shared living as part of an overall solution, the version we have got at the moment isn't suitable.

"The sequence should be publish the plan, ensure high tech jobs, build ordinary housing and then come back to shared living when all that is done. This is cart before the horse planning."