A planning application has been lodged for a development of more than 200 co-living homes in south Dublin.

If approved, the building in Dún Laoghaire, planned by Bartra Capital Property, will be the largest such development in the country.

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

Co-living has only recently been included in planning regulations.

Car parking is not required; the number of units per floor is higher than standard apartments, and developments are exempt from Part V social housing obligations.

Bartra has applied to An Bord Pleanála to develop a five-storey, co-living building at the site of the former school house on Eblana Avenue in Dún Laoghaire town centre.

"It is a modern form of accommodation for today's young workers. Dublin is a very international city and this type of accommodation has proved very successful internationally," said James Cormican, head of development co-living at Bartra Capital Property Group.

"The target market is young 20s to young 30s. Typically it is people new to Dublin… who would prefer a co-living option to a house share."

The Dún Laoghaire site has existing planning permission for 59 apartments. The new, co-living proposal will have 208 bedrooms.

Lecturer in Housing Studies at TU Dublin Lorcan Sirr said Bartra was "squeezing five of these bedrooms into what is typically the size of a two-bedroom apartment.

"The developers are only doing what the Department of Housing has facilitated them to do, which is to develop hotel-scale accommodation in a location in which they probably wouldn’t get planning permission for an actual hotel.

"This development will be without the benefit of balconies, parking, or even Part V social housing," he added.

Each en-suite bedroom will be 16.5 sq m in size and includes a pull-down bed and kitchenette. 

Leases on the units will be from two to 12 months.

"We are going in at a price level that would be below a typical, one-bed apartment in the area," said Mr Cormican.

Bartra says the value of the units extends beyond the bedrooms.

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"Residents will have access to laundry facilities, gym facilities. There will be a real focus on social interaction and that is what ultimately is the big attraction of these type of schemes."

During pre-planning meetings, officials in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council advised Bartra that they had concerns over the non provision of car parking.

"There would need to be some form of parking made available to be sustainable into the future," planners warned, according to minutes of the meeting.

"There is no experience within Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for car free developments. Applicant advised that they are taking the risk for not providing any parking," the planners added.  

A smaller version of co-living opened last year in Dublin city centre. More than 50 tenants now occupy the Node building at Fitzwilliam Square. Residents have their own apartment with the addition of a shared living space.

"In Dublin we have attracted a real mix of tenants. We have a 19-year-old working in Indeed and a guy who is 42-years-old working in finance. There is a major mix," said Ava Kilmartin, Node Community Curator.

The shared space is used to watch sports and TV shows along with organised events like table quizzes. 

The communal living also provides an alternative to the office for some tenants.

"A lot of our residents are mobile so they can work from home. Some would also use the shared space to work during the day".

Bartra is the first to propose co-living developments on a large scale in Ireland and has ambitions to build more than 750 units across four sites in Dublin including Tallaght and Blanchardstown. 

Dublin City Council rejected the company’s first application to build 105 units in Rathmines, citing fears it provided a "poor standard of residential accommodation".

The Dún Laoghaire application has been directly lodged with An Bord Pleanála - the first such proposal that will be considered by the statutory planning body.

"Bartra has taken an approach to these sites and made a large investment and it is really about us trying to deliver in excess of 750 beds into Dublin," Mr Cormican said.

An Bord Pleanála is expected to decide on the Dún Laoghaire site later this year.

Bartra is also formulating a revised application for the Rathmines development.