Blackrock apartment scheme gets green light from council

Seabren Developments secures permission to build apartments on the site of the former Europa Garage site at Newtown Avenue

Businessman Michael Moran’s Seabren Developments has secured planning permission to construct an apartment scheme on the site of the former Europa Garage site at Newtown Avenue in Blackrock, south Dublin.

Seabren Developments had lodged plans for 91 apartments made up of 49 one-bedroom units, 38 two bedroom units and four three-bedroom units.

However, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has ruled that 50 per cent of the apartments be two-bedroom units, and ordered the merging of some one-bedroom homes.

The council included the condition after finding that the proposal by the developer to have 54 per cent of units as one-bedroom units did not comply with guidelines concerning apartment building.


The council stated that the mainly four storey scheme – which faced some local objections – marginally exceeded the maximum height limits allowed under the Blackrock Local Area Plan and therefore does not fully comply with the Building Height Strategy of the current Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Development Plan.

The planner’s report, however, stated that the council was “satisfied that the proposed development provides an innovative and attractive design response”.

Additional height

The council report stated the additional height was concentrated in the least sensitive portion of the site and can be absorbed without unreasonably compromising the residential amenity of properties within the vicinity.

The council said it was satisfied the proposal “has been designed to a high standard and will provide a positive contribution to the surrounding building environment”.

As part of its requirements to comply with Part V social housing obligations, the developer has  put an indicative average cost of €382,964 on each unit, and was proposing to sell 10 to the council.

Kevin Conway of Newtown Avenue, Blackrock told the council the Europa site has been derelict for some years despite developers having been granted planning permission on at least two separate occasions to build residential units there.

Mr Conway stated: “This latest development continues the trend of completely inappropriate high-density, massive scale developments in a low rise, family orientated residential area with widely acknowledged traffic issues.”

He claimed the density of the scheme was “completely out of character with the density of the surrounding neighbourhood”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times