Ballymore suffers setback in €190m Bray residential scheme

Permission refused for two blocks with 357 apartments but granted for 234 other units

Seán Mulryan's Ballymore Group has suffered a setback in its plans to develop a large-scale €190 million residential scheme on former Bray Golf Club lands.

This follows An Bord Pleanála’s decision to refuse permission for more than half the 591 residential units the group had proposed for the 23-acre site.

The Coastal Quarter Strategic Housing Development (SHD) is the first phase of Ballymore’s Harbour Point master plan for the former golf club lands. The scheme was made up of 515 apartments and 76 houses.

In a split decision concerning the scheme, An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission for two eight-storey high apartment blocks made up of 357 apartments.

The board stated that it was refusing permission for the two blocks due to the poor design of their facade treatment and architectural expression.

It found that the two apartment blocks would not constitute an adequate design response to the opportunity presented at the urban coastal site. The board granted planning permission for the remaining 234 units.

The scheme straddles an area north of Bray town covered by Wicklow County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC).

In 2019, Ballymore acquired the larger 52.6-acre Harbour Point lands on the site of the former Bray Golf Club.

The site was put on the market for €27.5 million by receiver Deloitte.

Monolithic form

Planners at DLRCC recommended that permission be refused for part of the scheme on lands administered by the council due to what it described as the monolithic form and overall design of the apartment blocks.

The planners stated that the blocks failed to provide a high-quality scheme that promoted a sense of place through layout and detailed design.

Planners at Wicklow County Council recommended that permission be granted for the scheme in its area.

The documentation lodged with Ballymore’s scheme on its social housing obligations put an indicative cost of €255,335 on the one-bedroom units, €461,257 for the two-bedroom ones and €647,794 for the three-bedroom units.

As part of a planned further phase of development, Ballymore intends to construct a mixed-use landmark building.

Consultants for Ballymore told the board that the provision of a high-density residential development within Bray provides “for a more compact and sustainable urban form adjacent to high-capacity public-transport services”.

The planning report lodged on behalf of Ballymore firm Shankill Property Investments Ltd states that “the proposed development will promote a strong sense of character and place and will facilitate a safe and socially inclusive community at a highly accessible location near to all existing community, social, leisure and retail facilities within Bray”.