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News: Massive regeneration plan for one of Europe's worst estates

One of Europe's biggest regeneration projects on one of its worst estates is shaping up with a planning application due this month for the first phase of £260 million of housing.

Nearly 40 blocks, five of them high-rise, and 3000 homes will be swept away as part of Dublin's Ballymun Regeneration Project. It is masterplanned by MacCormac Jamieson Prichard and architects from Ballymun Regeneration Ltd, set up to run the project.

The project involves 11 other practices which will rehouse around 20,000 people. The new layout will include flats and terraced homes built around parks and 34 football pitches. Other practices include Peter Twamley Architect, McGarry NiEanaigh Architects, Levitt Bernstein Associates, Gerry Cahill Architects, Derek Tynan Architects, Fionnuala Rogerson Architects, and McCrossan O'Rourke Architects. Also involved are mv Cullinan Architects, O'Mahoney Pike, Cathal Crimmins Architects, and Gilroy McMahon.

At present a dual carriageway carves the estate in half. The estate is hemmed in with razor wire and broken bottles on the walls of adjacent 1930s housing. The aim of the ten-year government-funded project is to encourage people into the area by providing shops, offices, an arts centre, a town hall and a library. The main road will be turned into a tree-lined, boulevard-like road with shops and trams, and a road network will feed into the built-up areas. To the north of Ballymun, towards the airport, will be 140,000m2 of offices and commercial space. Low-rise housing will draw on all aspects of traditional Dublin housing, said designer David Prichard.

Ciaran Murray, managing director of Ballymun Regeneration, said: 'This is perhaps the biggest social and economic regeneration project in Europe. It is not just a housing scheme, it is about building a new town within the social and economic infrastructure.'

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