Land Development Agency launches vision for Digital Hub site

  • Masterplan to be progressed following public consultation
  • Proposed Development will open up, rejuvenate and deliver affordable housing and mixed uses
  • Pear Tree Crossing project will be delivered on phased basis

The Land Development Agency (LDA) has today launched a vision document and initial consultation process on its plans for the development of the Digital Hub Campus in Dublin 8. The consultation will help to inform the development of a Masterplan that the LDA is working on to generate a coherent plan to redevelop key state-owned lands to redevelop this 3.72-hectare site with mixed tenure affordable homes, including adaptive reuse of key heritage buildings and opportunities for commercial, cultural, and community facilities.

Pear Tree Crossing is the working title the LDA has given to this project, referencing the pear tree – said to be the oldest fruit bearing tree in Ireland – that sits on the existing site adjacent to the famous St Patrick’s Tower, once the largest smock windmill in Europe.

The LDA has been engaging with key stakeholders to inform this first step in setting out the vision and principles that are proposed to inform the future plans for the phased redevelopment of this strategic regeneration area. This is following on from the announcement in April 2021 by the Government of plans for the dissolution of the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA) and the transfer of its assets to the LDA. These lands provide an exceptional opportunity for the LDA to contribute to the development of The Liberties and to transform this currently underutilised area into a new, sustainable urban community with a distinctive identity.

The LDA continues to work in partnership with the DHDA on the transition, and The Digital Hub is continuing to serve its enterprise cluster and provide strategic initiatives and community programmes during this phased planning process. The Masterplan is being developed to ensure an integrated approach that respects the site’s heritage, and its unique connection to the local community. The project will create affordable homes that will deliver a high quality of life, whilst also continuing to support enterprise. This will all be done in a way that will deliver enhanced greening opportunities and biodiversity, and a walkable neighbourhood, opening new linkage points with Dublin 8.

The LDA’s vision for the site is based on three key themes:

  • Identity: a development that respects the site’s heritage, that serves the people living and working in it, and delivers new uses drawn from the needs of the local area
  • Living: a development that will deliver affordable and sustainable housing that is people-centred in its design, with inclusive public spaces for old and young
  • Unlocking: an approach that will deliver enhanced green spaces and biodiversity, with a focus on public transport links and creating a walkable neighbourhood

Until the Masterplan is developed the quantum of housing planned, and the split of the lands between different uses has not been determined. The LDA’s intention is to submit first phase planning applications during 2023, following a formal public consultation process on the Masterplan later this year.

Following the planning applications, phased delivery is expected to take place during the next decade.

Dearbhla Lawson, Head of Strategic Planning at the LDA said:

“Our mission is to make efficient use of state lands to help deliver affordable housing. The Digital Hub site has huge potential to create a sustainable residential and mixed-use community, delivering hundreds of new homes, while ensuring that the architectural heritage and buildings are retained and re-purposed. The local community and those currently working at the site will play a key part in the discussions we are starting about how it might change. Our approach will see the space open up and give back to its neighbours; welcoming in the local community, providing affordable homes, community space and workspaces.”

The LDA welcomes feedback on this first stage. Community groups and stakeholders are encouraged to find out more about the LDA’s plans and share their own thoughts via the dedicated website www.peartreecrossing.ie