An Bord Pleanála clears way for Leopardstown apartment scheme

Noel Smyth firm to construct 112 build-to-rent units on south Dublin site

An Bord Pleanála has granted fast-track planning permission to a Noel Smyth company to construct 112 build-to-rent apartments at Rocklawn, Leopardstown, in south Dublin.

The appeals board has given Bridgeclip (Developments) Ltd’s strategic development housing (SHD) scheme the green light in spite of a recommendation by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council that permission be refused.

The scheme is made up of 72 one-bedroomed apartments and 40 two-bedroomed units in blocks ranging for four to six storeys.

The council recommended refusal as the scheme contains no three-bedroom apartments and would therefore fail to provide an adequate mix for a variety of housing needs.


However, the appeals board granted permission after concluding that the development would constitute an acceptable quantum and density of development in an accessible urban location.

The board 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 and quantum of development.

Long-term solution

The inspector in the case, Stephen Rhys Thomas, recommended that permission be granted after stating that build-to-rent apartments can provide a viable long-term housing solution to households where home ownership may not be a priority, such as people starting out on their careers.

On council concerns over the housing mix, Mr Rhys Thomas said the area’s housing stock provided three- and four-bedroom units and so the introduction of an alternative form of development in one- and two-bedroom units would give prospective residents more choice.

He was satisfied that the overall quality of the facilities provided was satisfactory and that residents would “enjoy an enhanced overall standard of amenity”.

In its objection, the Leopardstown Height Residents Association claimed that the scheme represented overdevelopment of the site and would give rise to traffic hazards.

The residents' association's objection, prepared by planning consultant Conor Sheehan, asked that a floor from each apartment block be removed to protect local property values.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times