Commercial Development2019-03-07T18:23:49+00:00

Commercial Development

The commercial development sector had been slower to rebound at the start of Ireland’s recent economic recovery, but is now quickly growing in response to the demands for high-quality office space, urban regeneration opportunities and the growing wider economy.

Demand for modern office space in the urban centres has far outpaced supply in recent years, driven largely by continued FDI growth and investment. Available office space is at a near all-time low in some markets, and the shortage is limiting the attractiveness of some cities.

Hotel capacity is also falling short of demand in many tourists centres, as Ireland continues to see growth in tourist numbers and expenditure. Developers and hotel operaters have sought to both maximise any additional potential in existing sites and identify new location opportunities, on the back of strong occupancy rates in recent years that look set to continue.

There is also significant recent activity in larger mixed-use commercial developments, often prompted by large urban regeneration opportunity sites. These developments must often balance the right combination of residential, retail, office and civic facilities to ensure they meet local requirements and make financial sense.

In all instances, the correct planning strategy and planning advice is critical to delivering successful commercial development projects, supported by the necessary project management, environmental and other advices that MKO’s clients can benefit from our experience in delivering.

Commercial Development – Key Services

Planning Strategy

We devise and advise on project planning strategy, helping clients determine the best course of action to take with project phasing, timing and application approach. This strategy advice can be provided on a project level to help chart the right course for a project, or at a strategic level to ensure the necessary and correct policies are in place to support a future project.

Environmental Impact Assessment Reports (EIAR)

We prepare robust EIAR reports taking account of the latest requirements of the EU EIA Directive and national guidance. Our reports are written to stay ahead of emerging best-practice and ensure projects withstand legal challenges.

They are also written to be practical and aware of the need to implement design and mitigation measures during a project’s construction/operation phase. We project manage client, design team and specialist inputs, and meet our client’s deadlines. Our EIA experience spans every industry sector. Projects and clients benefit from the combined experience of all our company’s staff, who have refined our EIA knowledge and practices over decades of work in this field.

Planning Applications/Project Management

We manage the entire planning permission application process, or provide key inputs and planning advice. From advice at the pre-planning stage, through to preparing and managing the planning application or responding to further information requests, we help applicants or their project teams navigate a project through the planning process.

We can either lead the planning-phase design team or are equally happy to play out part as a team member. Our most experienced planners lead the consultations with the Planning Authorities, from the initial concept feasibility discussions right through to agreeing pre-commencement compliance requirements.

Ecological Impact Assessments

We prepare comprehensive and fit-for-purpose Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA) as either stand-alone reports or for use as chapters of an EIS/EIAR. The scope of each EcIA is tailored to the specific client’s requirements of their site and project.

We tailor our Project Management services to match the scale or complexity of the project and meet our client’s needs. We adapt our role as Project Manger to suit the client organisation’s resource availability, experience, and desire to play an active role in the project. Where appropriate client resources are not available, we can also fulfill a broader “Employer’s Agent” role. When engaged from project commencement, we advise on the most appropriate structure to successfully deliver the project and ensure that all project participants’ activities are fully aligned to achieve the project goals.

Project Management

We offer a client-focused project management service across all types of project and sectors. This includes full day-to-day management of any project from initial design to project close-out, overseeing design team and contractor activities, and coordinating all interfaces between the project team, clients and third parties.

We tailor our Project Management services to match the scale or complexity of the project and meet our client’s needs. We adapt our role as Project Manger to suit the client organisation’s resource availability, experience, and desire to play an active role in the project. Where appropriate client resources are not available, we can also fulfill a broader “Employer’s Agent” role. When engaged from project commencement, we advise on the most appropriate structure to successfully deliver the project and ensure that all project participants’ activities are fully aligned to achieve the project goals.

Development Plan Submissions

The submissions we prepare for the reviews of Development Plans and Local Area Plans are instrumental in increasing the development potential of sites and properties. Our submissions take account of planning precedents and policy trends to make the strongest possible argument in favour of the suggested policy changes.

We assess the planning opportunities or threats of draft planning policy, and advise our clients on the planning policy strategy most appropriate to their property assets. Submissions can range from simple letters to more comprehensive report documents relying on primary research we undertake to strengthen the specific case being made.

Habitats Directive Assessments (AASR / NIS / HDA)

The requirements of the EU habitats directive are well known to us, and we prepare Appropriate Assessment Screening Reports (AASR) as Stage 1 assessment/reports or Natura Impact Statements (NIS) as Stage 2 assessment/reports.

Our expert knowledge of the requirements, pitfalls and nuances of habitats directive assessments has been honed by completing many hundred such assessments/reports over the last decade. Our knowledge of the planning system, makes us acutely aware of the planning implications of conducting a Stage 2 assessment for developments that otherwise would not require planning permission. Given our experience, we can advise clients very quickly on whether a Stage 1 “screening” will suffice of whether a full Stage 2 “assessment” is required.

Planning Strategies & Masterplans

When planning expertise is required to formulate a planning strategy or masterplan, we develop practical proposals that balance community and commercial interests. The ideas and approaches we propose are influenced by the experience gained on thousands of projects.

We use current policy as a guide but not a limitation, as we consider an area’s future needs and our client’s requirements. Where necessary, we coordinate inputs of other professionals in areas such as transport planning, urban design, services engineering and landscape architecture, to maximize the potential of the vision we develop along with our clients.

Invasive Species Surveys & Management

We survey, identify and propose management options for dealing with all types of invasive species. We do so primarily for civil engineering contractors, utilities or developers who must deal with invasive species during their project.

We also act for property, insurance and financial firms who need to assess any invasive species risks associated with their property interests. The initial surveys we conduct can be supplemented with on-site Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW) staff during the construction stage, to ensure the invasive plant materials are being properly managed and costs of treatment, management and disposal and minimised. We bring a practical, experienced and pragmatic approach to every invasive species job.

Call us to discuss your next project – 091 735 611

Case Studies

Our Clients :