Longfields Proposed Homeless Accommodation

Homeless Services Section

Report on the progress of bringing forward the proposed use of 9 – 10 Fitzwilliam Street, formerly Longfields Hotel for Homeless Services 31st October 2014.

 

The property 9/10 Fitzwilliam Street (Longfields Hotel) was acquired by Dublin City Council in August 2007.

 

The proposed use was for intended provision of a ‘wet hostel’ to be operated by Depaul Ireland to replace a facility which they previously operated on Aungier Street (since closed).

 

A fundamental point to be made is that the facility was purchased prior to a seismic change in policy, namely “Pathway to Home”. The significance here relates to the fact that the policy has shifted its practice around ‘wet shelters’ to one of client engagement in stabilisation programmes in accordance with a housing-led approach. That is, the reconfiguration of homeless services under “Pathway to Home 2008” proposed consolidation of existing services configured under new model of homeless provision and alignment of service providers thereto.

 

The requirement for provision of a “wet hostel “ at this location was no longer required and was subsumed into services provided by De Paul Ireland at Sundial House.

 

The working through of the reconfiguration process meant that the use of Longfields remained in abeyance in the interim period.

 

In 2011, Dublin Simon expressed an interest in the use of the property as an alternative to their existing facility in Harcourt Street which was deemed not fit for purpose and owing to the fact that the current lease arrangements for this building have expired.

 

It was anticipated that the building could be made ready within reasonable timeframe for use as supported temporary residential accommodation and that the intended use would be exempt from planning given its prior use as hotel accommodation.

 

The necessary works to maintain and secure the integrity of the building prior to proposed use were undertaken.

 

Having regard to subsequent advice on planning and conservation in respect of protected structures and the necessity to ensure a fully transparent process and to allow for public engagement it was decided that the formal Part 8 process should be initiated.

 

Preparation of this process was initiated in 2013 and a pre- part 8 briefing on the proposed use and refurbishment was brought to the South East Area Committee (SEAC) in March 2014 with further engagement with elected members prior to the local elections in May 2014.

 

The detailed report on Part 8 was brought to October meeting of the SEAC and the application was lodged on 17th October 2014.

 

If you wish to make a submission on the planning application under the Part 8 procedure, the deadline is 19 December 2014. Submissions and observations can be made in writing to the Executive Manager, Planning Department, Dublin City Council, Block 4, Fllor 3, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8.

The reference number is 3576/14.

Proposed change of use of 9/10 Fitzwilliam Street Lower Dublin 2 (Protected Structures) from former hotel (Longfields) to Supported Temporary Accommodation (STA) and associated refurbishment works. The proposed use of the buildings (Protected Structures) is for the provision of Supported Temporary Accommodation for single persons and couples providing a total of 30 bed spaces and is to replace the existing Dublin Simon Community emergency accommodation service located on Harcourt Street, which has to be vacated. The proposed development will also consist of the following refurbishment works; (a) Enlargement of two existing en-suites on the ground floor to provide disabled use. (b) Removal of the existing cantilevered timbered structure at the second floor at the rear and reinstatement of landing window. (c) Repair and fireproofing of the existing glazed roofs over the front basement areas. (d) Upgrading of the existing mechanical and electrical systems using existing runs, (New runs will be surface mounted). (e) Provision of fire proofing between floors by lifting floorboards, insertion of fireproofing and replacement of floorboards. (f) Provision of disabled access to the building from Fitzwilliam Street Lower. (g) Repair of existing metal fire escape at rear. (h) Repair of existing roof. All work will be carried out in accordance with the Conservation Architects Report.

 

Longfields Planning