Appeal against plans to double ratio of houses to apartments in Adamstown

West Dublin does not need more ‘three-bed semis’, residents tell An Bord Pleanála

South Dublin County Council is proposing to lower the density of development in Adamstown by 20 per cent to allow more houses in response to the “near cessation” of construction in the suburb. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

South Dublin County Council is proposing to lower the density of development in Adamstown by 20 per cent to allow more houses in response to the “near cessation” of construction in the suburb. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Wed, May 28, 2014, 01:00

An appeal against plans which could double the proportion of houses to apartments built in Adamstown in west Dublin has been heard by An Bord Pleanála.

South Dublin County Council is proposing to lower the density of development in Adamstown by 20 per cent to allow more houses in response to the “near cessation” of construction in the new suburb.

The Adamstown Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) was created in 2003 with the aim of delivering more than 10,000 homes, schools, shops, community and leisure facilities and public transport.

So far, fewer than 1,400 homes have been built, and since 2008/2009 development has “almost ceased” with fewer than 20 residential units completed in the last four years, said the council. No development has started on the district centre which was to have a supermarket, library, cinema and healthcare centre, or on the leisure centre and swimming pool.

Planning permission has been granted for nearly 3,250 homes, almost 40 per cent of which were apartments, 32 per cent duplex units and less than 30 per cent houses.

Alteration to plan However, only 28 per cent of apartments permitted were actually built, compared to almost 50 per cent of houses and 56 per cent of duplexes.

“It is evident that permitted duplexes and houses in Adamstown were almost twice as likely to be built and occupied than permitted apartments,” the council said.

Amending the SDZ to reduce densities by 20 per cent will still deliver 6,655 to 8,145 homes, said the council, but 66 per cent would be houses and the remaining 34 per cent would be apartments and duplex units.

Residents groups told the hearing they were opposed to the density changes. Folasade Bello of the Adamstown Residents’ Board said a “traditional housing set up” would not sustain the infrastructure proposed.

Brian Murray of the Adamstown Planning Action Group said Adamstown was not a ghost town and there was no need to panic by changing the original SDZ plan.

“Certain sectors want to rush back to crazy housing building which got us into trouble in the first place,” he said.

Resident Michelle Uí Bhuachalla said: “West Dublin doesn’t need more three-bed semi-detached houses which seems to be why these changes are being put forward.”

The delivery of facilities and infrastructure by developers was dependent on the numbers of housing units built. The council also wants to amend the SDZ to reduce the number of units needed for facilities to be built and to speed up the infrastructure provision.

Chartridge Developments, which represents three major Adamstown landowners, Castlethorn Construction, Maplewood Developments and Tierra Ltd, has appealed to An Bord Pleanála not to allow this change.

Landowner claims It says the council should use development levies already paid to built facilities.

More than €15.5 million has already been paid in levies, most of which had been used by the council to fund facilities outside Adamstown, said the developer.

Forcing it to accelerate infrastructure and community facilities would delay the delivery of residential development and didn’t take into account current market conditions. Chartridge also maintains that reducing the density also reduced the infrastructure needed for the development.