Bord Pleanála refuses planning permission for Balbriggan housing scheme

Board says proposal’s lack of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure would largely render residents car-dependent

An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for a new “car-dependent” strategic housing development (SHD) scheme with 127 residential units for a site near Balbriggan after a developer failed to allow for adequate pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

In refusing planning permission for the Kinvara Properties Ltd SHD
proposal for a site 4km northwest of Balbriggan, the appeals board ruled that without the adequate pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, the development would be largely car-dependent.

As a result, the board ruled the scheme “would therefore promote unsustainable transport modes” and be contrary to the provisions of the Fingal county development plan.

The appeals board refused planning permission for the scheme – made up of 65 houses and 62 duplex units – after Fingal County Council had already recommended that planning permission be refused on five separate grounds.


The appeals board inspector in the case, Elaine Power, recommended refusal and agreed with the council and the concerns raised by third parties that the proposal did not provide for safe and convenient road use and that future residents of the scheme would be car-dependent, setting an undesirable precedent for similar sites where connectivity is limited or non-existent.

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Ms Power said that in the absence of adequate pedestrian and cycle infrastructure connecting the subject site to Balbriggan town centre and given the poor availability of public transport at the location, it was her recommendation that permission be refused as the proposed development would endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard.

In a separate SHD ruling, the board has granted planning permission to the Land Development Agency (LDA) for a 345-unit scheme for Hacketsown, Skerries, in north Dublin.

The LDA can now proceed with the construction of eight blocks comprising 84 one-bed units, 104 two-bed units and 157 three-bed units in eight blocks ranging from two to four storeys in height.

The appeals board granted permission after pointing out that the scheme is of strategic and national importance given its potential to substantively contribute to the achievement of the Government’s national policy to increase housing supply.

The board also concluded that the proposal would constitute an acceptable quantum and density of development in this intermediate urban location and would be acceptable in terms of urban design, height and scale of development.

The LDA is to allocate 70 of the units for social and affordable housing.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times