SDRA 9 St Michael’s Estate (including adjoining Keogh Barracks/Richmond Barracks)

The former Richmond Barracks dates from 1814, built as a recruiting centre by the British Army, and later used for housing by Dublin City Council when it was known as Keogh Square. Most of the barracks was demolished in 1969 and replaced by the St Michael’s Estate local authority housing complex, comprising four and eight-storey flat blocks. These blocks are now also demolished with an aim to regenerate the estate into a thriving sustainable city neighbourhood.

Recent regeneration progress has included the completion of 75 new social housing units, together with crèche and playground at Thornton Heights. The City Council is now proposing the conservation of two of the surviving three buildings of Richmond Barracks to be developed as one of the State’s national commemorative projects for 2016. The buildings will house an exhibition centre and archive for national/local history, a visitor centre including a tearoom and garden and will be used as an educational/ community resource. Other relatively recent improvements to the area have included new local authority senior citizen housing, a new HSE primary care centre and community nursing home and the provision of the Inchicore Community and Sports Centre.

The guiding principles for the remaining SDRA lands are set out below: ­

  • The development of a high-quality, vibrant, mixed-use urban quarter will be promoted; new facilities will be located in accessible locations and will maximise the opportunities to connect with the wider neighbourhood ­
  • The development will complement the regeneration of Inchicore by encouraging a natural extension of the village centre eastwards along Emmet Road; the development will provide strong connections between the site and the functions of the village centre, for which a local environmental improvements plan is proposed ­
  • The development of high-quality streetscape onto Emmet Road with accessible civic spaces, active frontages and an appropriate transition in scale, height and character between the village centre and the site will be promoted ­
  • Strong permeability will be sought through the site, including pedestrian and cyclist connections, to achieve strong north-to-south connections between Emmet Road and the Luas/ Grand Canal corridor and east-towest connections between St Vincent Street West and Bulfin Road; active streetscapes along these routes will be promoted ­Variety in housing tenures and unit types will be sought in order to achieve a balanced and sustainable community ­
  • The important heritage features on, and adjoining, the site, shall be respected and highlighted by urban design with particular regard to the tourism, heritage, community and amenity value of assets such as St Michael’s Church, Richmond Barracks, Goldenbridge Cemetery and the Grand Canal ­ Innovative proposals that create a landmark destination within the city for combined facilities of a community, recreational, leisure and sports nature will be promoted; such facilities shall integrate positively with the existing sports facilities on site ­
  • The development of high-quality senior citizen housing. This will be located on the site between Thornton Heights and Richmond Barracks. Fig.29