Dublin City Council has refused planning permission to Tetrarch Capital for a 78-unit ‘over-65s’ scheme on lands around the 18th century protected structure, Sybil Hill House.
The Tetrarch ‘senior living’ scheme involves three blocks, one rising to five storeys tall, on the Vincentian order-owned land located about 150m from an entrance to St Anne’s Park and beside St Paul’s College secondary school in Raheny.
The council refused planning permission after determining that the proposed development had not been sensitively sited and designed and would therefore have an adverse impact upon the setting and curtilage of Sybil Hill House and would negatively impact its special character and appearance having regard to the scale, massing, height and layout of the proposed residential development.
It also found that the applicant had not adequately demonstrated that the proposed public and communal open space would be of sufficient quality and quantum as a large woodland area would be largely inaccessible and would not provide meaningful public open space.
Planning consultants on the project Tom Phillips & Associates stated it was the expressed wishes of the Vincentian order “that this integrated retirement community would cater specifically for the over-65s within the community who wish to downsize into suitable age-friendly accommodation”.
As many as 50 submissions were lodged concerning the scheme mainly by local residents.
In a joint objection RTÉ broadcaster Lottie Ryan and husband Fabio Aprile claimed that the proposed development would give rise to a significant loss of residential amenity to adjacent properties.
In points echoed in other objections submitted by locals, the couple claimed the proposal “will significantly impact on the character of Sybil Hill House, resulting in the degradation of the contributions made by the protected structure on the area”. The Ryan/Aprile objection also contended that the proposal represented overdevelopment of the site by way of design, layout and massing on a restricted site directly adjoining residential developments and would be visually obtrusive.
They stated that “the residential amenity and accordingly the value of the properties adjacent to the subject site will be seriously impacted by the proposed development”.
Separately, Donough Cahill, executive director with the Irish Georgian Society, told the council that the proposal represented inappropriate development with one five-storey block too close to Sybil Hill House, too high “and would seriously impact on the character and setting” of the property.
In a 30-page objection lodged on behalf of No 1 Sybil Hill Owners Management Company, planning consultants Hughes Planning and Development Consultants contended that the height and the massing of the proposal was unsuitable. The objection stated that the scheme “would irreparably compromise the amenity of adjacent residents by way of overlooking overbalance and loss of privacy”.
In their own objection, Julia Ruiz and Tom McGauran of Sybil Hill Road, Raheny, contend that this is not a once-off development in respect of the site owned by the Vincentian order.