Appeals board cuts scale of apartment scheme over hospice concerns

Pleanála orders removal of one section and some floors on site adjacent to LauraLynn

An Bord Pleanála has reduced the scale of a proposed €230 million 463 apartment scheme in response to concerns expressed by the LauraLynn Children's Hospice and residents.

The appeals board granted planning permission for the Homeland Group  scheme  which comprises six apartment blocks, with one block originally rising to 10 storeys, at lands at St Joseph’s House at Brewery Road and Leopardstown Road in Dublin 18.

The site is located within an established residential area close to the South County Business Park and a kilometre from the M50.

However, the Homeland Silverpines Ltd strategic housing development (SHD) scheme has been reduced in scale after the board ordered a number of modifications.

As part of its order, the board has asked that a four-storey section of one block – comprising eight apartments – be omitted.

Local opposition

The board has also sought that the height of another block be reduced by one storey to seven and that another 10-storey section be reduced to nine.

The board sought the changes after the applicants offered to make changes to the scheme in the face of local opposition at an oral hearing.

Over 100 objections were lodged against the scheme, including by the Leopardstown Action Group, the Tudor Lawn Residents’ Association and the Woodford Residents’ Association.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council recommended planning permission be refused on four grounds including its negative impact on the light falling on the LauraLynn Children’s Hospice and other adjacent properties.

The inspector’s report records that at the oral hearing the chief executive officer of the hospice, Kerry McLaverty, expressed concern over the scheme’s overshadowing “and intrusion on privacy, dignity and comfort of residents due to height and density”.

Therapeutic benefits

Ms McLaverty said that four bedrooms faced north and would be directly overlooked and that the size and scale of the SHD scheme was out of proportion with the existing environment at LauraLynn.

Ms McLaverty also argued that traffic and noise pollution would have a detrimental impact on the therapeutic benefits of the outdoor space at LauraLynn.

The board inspector in the case, Una O’Neill, said she did not consider the “daylight impacts” of the proposed scheme on the LauraLynn property to be significant.

Ms O’Neill also said that the modifications put forward for consideration by the applicant at the oral hearing were positive.

The appeals board granted planning permission for the scheme after concluding that the scheme would constitute an acceptable residential density at this urban location, 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.