Appeals board refuses 364-unit plan for Terenure College lands

Lioncor had appealed an earlier refusal by Dublin City Council

An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for a seven-storey, 364-unit build-to-rent apartment scheme on former playing fields at Terenure College in Dublin.

The decision means the appeals board is upholding Dublin City Council’s refusal for the scheme last August.

Developer Lioncor lodged a first party appeal against the refusal, while the Terenure West Residents Association and the College and Wainsfort Residents Association lodged a joint appeal calling on An Bord Pleanála to strengthen the grounds of refusal.

The scheme would comprise four apartment blocks including 15 studios, 166 one-bed apartments, 174 two-bed apartments and nine three-bed units. It would also include 21 houses.


The Carmelite Order – which runs Terenure College and owns the substantial land bank at the site – had stated that the development would help secure the future viability of the college.

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The council refused planning permission to Lioncor subsidiary, 1 Celbridge West Land Ltd, due to transportation issues connected to the scheme.

However, the appeals board’s refusal is based on a number of grounds.

An Bord Pleanála found it has not been demonstrated that the site is not required for its established educational and recreational use and concluded that the proposed residential development materially contravenes the zoning of the site. It also said the proposed location of the residential development within a flood risk zone would be contrary to the Dublin City Development Plan.

In a third ground of refusal, the appeals board found that the proposed development exceeds the recommended density for outer suburbs in the Dublin City Development Plan, with an excessive quantum of housing. It pointed to the available capacity of current transport facilities.

The appeals board issued its refusal after the Department of Education made a submission stating that the educational zoning of the site greatly supports the department’s ability to provide for present and future school requirements. The department said the population of Dublin is projected to grow and there is a limited and diminishing supply of appropriately zoned land to meet the educational needs of that population.

It also advised that the current proposal for residential development is not aligned with the educational land use of the site.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times