The Land Development Agency (LDA) has published a draft masterplan for over 3.7ha of land straddling Thomas Street. The site is the former landholding of The Digital Hub, which transfered its land to the LDA in 2021.
Under the working title of Pear Tree Crossing, the masterplan proposes over 550 homes, with a mix of social and affordable housing, as well as new commercial and cultural uses. Most of the housing will be in new apartment blocks, with a smaller number of homes in the upper floors of existing historic buildings, including some fronting on to Thomas Street.
The landholding extends from School Street South to Bonham Street and is divided into four plots:
School Street South to Rainsford Street: this plot includes former Guinness Hopstore and Digital Court, which will both be retained, as well as a vacant former schoolhouse and a carpark. 190 apartments are envisaged for this plot.
Vathouse 7: the enormous Vathouse building on Crane Street will be retained and repurposed to commercial and cultural uses. New housing is envisage at the centre of this site as well as in the upper floors of the historic terrace of buildings which front onto Thomas Street.
St Patrick’s Tower: the land around the iconic St Patrick’s Tower, an 18thC smock windmill, will be developed with new buildings on Thomas Street and Watling Street and the conservation of historic structures such as the former banking hall and No 157. A new square is proposed on this site, creating a setting for the smock windmill, which will shortly be refurbished to create an events space at its base.
Watling: The final area, the northernmost element of the site, is currently occupied by warehouses. This plot is expected to see 110 new homes, in buildings ranging from 2 – 12 storeys.
The masterplan is now subject to public consultation. The LDA intends to submit an initial planning application later in 2023, with phased delivery expected to take place from 2024.
The Digital Hub itself continues to operate as a location for tech and digital media companies.