South Dublin res­i­dents doth protest . . . but where does it get them?

What do the sub­mis­sions lodged against re­cent plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions in Dún Laoghaire Rath­down tell us?

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Feature -

It is clear that Dublin needs more homes, and as a con­se­quence it needs more de­vel­op­ment. How­ever, with green­field sites in short sup­ply in sought-after ar­eas, builders are look­ing to to build new homes by bulk­ing up ex­ist­ing devel­op­ments, de­mol­ish­ing homes on gen­er­ous plots and re­plac­ing them with multi-fam­ily units, or ex­ploit­ing in­fill sites.

Such mea­sures are not al­ways pop­u­lar in es­tab­lished res­i­den­tial ar­eas and can of­ten at­tract ob­jec­tions from lo­cal res­i­dents and, as our ta­ble shows, res­i­dents in some ar­eas ap­pear more pre­pared to put pen to pa­per than oth­ers.

While those ob­ject­ing to pro­posed devel­op­ments are gen­er­ally cog­nizant of the need for more ac­com­mo­da­tion, they also fear the im­pact of multi-storey apart­ment blocks loom­ing over their homes and gar­dens, the po­ten­tial for these new devel­op­ments to de­value ex­ist­ing prop­er­ties, and har­bour con­cerns over noise pol­lu­tion. But in many cases the big­gest con­cern is in­creased traf­fic.

Re­cent mea­sures mean that lodg­ing ob­jec­tions for larger-scale devel­op­ments with the lo­cal au­thor­ity is now a thing of the past; de­vel­op­ers seek­ing to build blocks of more than 100 homes can by­pass lo­cal author­i­ties and ap­ply di­rectly to An Bord Pleanála un­der the new fast-track scheme, in­tro­duced as part of the Re­build­ing Ire­land strat­egy.

For smaller schemes, how­ever, what do the sub­mis­sions – which can in­clude both ob­ser­va­tions and ob­jec­tions, but typ­i­cally the lat­ter – re­ceived by Dún Laoghaire-Rath­down County Coun­cil over the past year tell us? There is not a sig­nif­i­cant pipe­line of new de­vel­op­ment With fewer than 50 plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions for new devel­op­ments with 20 or mor e units s u b mi t t e d to Dún Laoghaire-Rath­down County Coun­cil last year, the pipe­line is not sub­stan­tial. If all are ap­proved and sub­se­quently con­structed, they will cre­ate about 3,800 new units.

It’s not al­ways about den­sity

There were few ap­pli­ca­tions for large-scale devel­op­ments in south county Dublin over the last year; and they did not nec­es­sar­ily at­tract the greatest num­ber of ob­jec­tions.

In Sandy­ford, for ex­am­ple, prop­erty in­vest­ment fund Ires Reit has been try­ing to get con­struc­tion un­der way on a site near its other devel­op­ments in the busi­ness park. It’s look­ing to build 492 apart­ments on the Rock­brook site, and al­though its ap­pli­ca­tion was turned down, it is now un­der ap­peal with An Bord Pleanála, with a de­ci­sion due this month. How­ever, de­spite its scale, over 14 floors, the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment at­tracted only 30 ob­jec­tions, with lo­cal res­i­dents ar­gu­ing that the area was be­com­ing “a con­crete jun­gle with con­stant traf­fic” and oth­ers point­ing to noise pol­lu­tion.

Sim­i­larly, Cos­grave’s plans to ex­tend its Honey Park de­vel­op­ment in Dún Laoghaire by a fur­ther 404 units gen­er­ated zero ob­jec­tions, while a pro­posal to build 322 units (242 apart­ments and 80 houses) on land near Cher­ry­wood re­ceived just one. Re­vised plans for ex­ist­ing devel­op­ments are of­ten suc­cess­ful On Gle­nageary Road Up­per in Dún Laoghaire, Cos­grave Devel­op­ments at­tracted no sub­mis­sions when it sought per­mis­sion for al­ter­na­tive de­sign pro­pos­als for its plans for 214 apart­ments on the site, which is al­ready home to 175 new houses. Ob­jec­tions do not equate to plan­ning re­fusals Lo­cal res­i­dents row­ing in be­hind each other to ob­ject to a new de­vel­op­ment do not strengthen the like­li­hood that a per­mis­sion will be re­fused.

Just off Leop­ard­stown Road, for ex­am­ple, plans to build 139 units (133 apart­ments and six houses) on the site of two ex­ist­ing houses, plus St Joseph’s House for the adult deaf and deaf blind as well as ad­join­ing lands, at­tracted 169 sub­mis­sions/ob­jec­tions, the sec­ond-high­est fig­ure over the year.

The units have an in­dica­tive cost, ac­cord­ing to plan­ning doc­u­ments, of ¤392,572 for a two-bed and ¤511,828 for a three-bed. In their sub­mis­sions lo­cal res­i­dents raised con­cerns about the den- sity of the pro­posed “overde­vel­op­ment”, as well as its im­pact on traf­fic in the area, while oth­ers were wor­ried that the scheme might over­look prop­er­ties in the area, and “sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the value of our prop­erty”.

The de­vel­op­ment re­ceived ap­proval, how­ever, al­though it’s un­der­stood that res­i­dents are now look­ing to ap­peal it to An Bord Pleanála. De­mo­li­tion and new de­vel­op­ment can be con­tentious Plans to de­mol­ish the home of the late Liam Maye and re­place it with 50 apart­ments plus one bun­ga­low have raised the ire of lo­cal res­i­dents in Foxrock vil­lage, with the pro­posed four-storey Weavers Hall de­vel­op­ment re­ceiv­ing the most sub­mis­sions in the Dún Laoghaire-Rath­down area over the past year, with 172.

Res­i­dents are con­cerned about the scale of the de­vel­op­ment, its im­pact on traf­fic, “de­val­u­a­tion” of prop­er­ties, loss of pri­vacy due to rooms be­ing over­looked by the apart­ments, and “dis­tur­bance” caused by a play­ground.

Fine Gael coun­cil­lor Barry Saul ar­gued that the de­vel­op­ment would be “vis­ually ob­tru­sive and out of char­ac­ter with the sur­round­ing area”, while it would also have a “detri­men­tal ef­fect” on the nearby Foxrock ar­chi­tec­ture Con­ser­va­tion Area.

How­ever, de­spite the ob­jec­tions, the plan­ning process is pro­gress­ing: the coun­cil has asked for ad­di­tional clar­i­fi­ca­tion about the size of some of the apart­ments and the lo­ca­tion of the house, as well as about some drainage is­sues, but lo­cal res­i­dents ex­pect plan­ning will be ap­proved. Ex­tend­ing an ex­ist­ing de­vel­op­ment is usu­ally treated favourably Where a site has al­ready been de­vel­oped once, it’s less likely that res­i­dents will ob­ject to an ex­ten­sion.

At Be­larmine in Stepa­side, for ex­am­ple, where Castlethorn al­ready has an ex­ten­sive de­vel­op­ment, a plan for a fur­ther 43 units (six apart­ments and 37 houses), re­ceived just nine ob­jec­tions, and has since got the go-ahead.

The units have an in­dica­tive cost of ¤271,000 for a two-bed apart­ment. This de­spite the fact, ac­cord­ing to one sub­mis­sion, that the site had orig­i­nally been ear­marked for a sec­ondary school for the area.

Oth­ers ob­jec­tions ex­pressed cerns about in­creased traf­fic. con-

Knockrabo, Mount Anville Road, Goat­stown Ardilea Cres­cent, Clonskeagh Land at Le­haunstown and Cher­ry­wood

‘‘ Re­cent mea­sures mean that lodg­ing ob­jec­tions for larger-scale devel­op­ments with the lo­cal au­thor­ity is now a thing of the past

Car­rick­mines Green, Car­rick­mines Green

Thorn­hill House, Mount Mer­rion: plans for 47 dwellings (mainly apart­ments) re­ceived 125 sub­mis­sions from lo­cal res­i­dents; Kil­macud House, Stil­lor­gan: re­ceived 21 sub­mis­sions for 60 units which were re­fused; Dalkey Manor, Dalkey: re­ceived 23 sub­mis­sions...

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