An Bord Pleanála has given the Land Development Agency (LDA) the go-ahead for a €290 million, 817-unit residential scheme for Balbriggan in north Co Dublin.
The appeals board has granted a 10-year planning permission to the State agency for the scheme despite some local opposition.
The Castlelands Strategic Housing Development (SHD) is made up for 414 apartments, 377 houses and 26 duplex units in a scheme ranging in height from two to six storeys.
The SHD is located on a 25.33 hectare (62.59 acres) site located at Castlelands, 1km south of Balbriggan town centre.
The appeals board has granted planning permission after concluding that the scheme would constitute an acceptable quantum and density of development at this accessible urban location.
It also concluded that the scheme would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area and would be acceptable in terms of urban design, height, scale and mass.
The board has now resumed issuing decisions on SHD cases as it formally confirmed the dissolution of its SHD division on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the appeals board confirmed that it has 88 active SHD cases to decide and stated that any remaining board decisions relating to SHD applications will now be made at a meeting involving a quorum of any configuration of board members.
Concerning the LDA scheme, the appeals board received 11 submissions including ones from Balbriggan Community Council, Castleland Park Neighbourhood Watch and Castleland Park Residents Association.
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As part of the proposal, the LDA is proposing to sell 164 units – or 20 per cent of the overall total – to Fingal County Council for social housing for €58.1 million or an average cost of €354,458.
With planning permission now granted, the two sides can now enter negotiations on a final price.
In a joint submission with Cllr Malachy Quinn, Louise O’Reilly TD (both Sinn Féin) told the appeals board: “We are particularly concerned about the lack of commitment to an appropriate amount of social and affordable homes on public land that the LDA is set to develop including the Castleland site.”
They stated: “As this is public land, it is Sinn Féin’s view that it should be developed by the Council in its entirety for social and affordable housing to rent and buy.”