‘Age friendly’ apartment scheme in Blackrock gets go-ahead

Move comes despite appeals from five locals

An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to plans for a 38-unit, build-to-rent apartment scheme in Blackrock.

The appeals board has given Richard Barrett’s Bartra the go-ahead after concluding that the scheme would not lead to a proliferation of “build-to-rent” developments in the area and would offer a good standard of accommodation to future residents.

The appeals board has also concluded that the scheme would not constitute an over-development of the site.

In total, five appeals were lodged against the council’s grant of permission by local residents.


They included appeals from retired local judge, Patrick J McMahon and Ann McMahon.

Others to appeal were Terence Hayden, Nicholas and Susan Blake Knox, Denis and Aoife O’Connor and Niall and Elaine Doyle.

When the case was before Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Council, Judge McMahon claimed that the scheme would “create chaos in the area” and “wreck the place”.

In his objection, Judge McMahon of Mount Merrion Avenue told the council that “the height of the building is outrageous”.

Judge McMahon retired as a district court judge in 2013 and was subsequently appointed by government in 2014 to the role of Confidential Recipient for Gardaí and gave evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal concerning his role.

The “age-friendly” scheme proposed for Woodlands Park, Blackrock is aimed at older members of society and comes complete with two rooftop hot tubs.

Plans were first lodged in March 2022 and the case has been before An Bord Pleanála on appeal since November 2022.

The appeals board has granted planning permission after its inspector in the case, John Duffy, concluded that the design and scale of the proposed development was appropriate for this big town centre site, “and, in my view, the proposal constitutes an efficient use of residential zoned lands”.

Mr Duffy also highlighted that 473 build-to-rent apartments have been granted permission within 1km of the appeal site and, “in my view, this does not constitute a proliferation of build to rent in the area”.

Mr Duffy also concluded that the proposed development “would not seriously injure the visual amenity of the area”.

“In my view the proposed apartment building is a well-designed contemporary development with high-quality finishes,” he said.

Mr Duffy said that he was satisfied that the proposed development would not seriously injure the area’s amenities to such an extent that would adversely affect the value of property in the vicinity.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times