Chawke family considers next steps as €186m scheme rejected

Planning board says proposed apartments in Goatstown would result in overbearing form of development

The proposed development on the 4.6-acre site envisages four blocks ranging from five to eight storeys. Source: thegoatshd.ie

The proposed development on the 4.6-acre site envisages four blocks ranging from five to eight storeys. Source: thegoatshd.ie

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Charlie Chawke and his family have not yet decided whether to proceed with efforts to build a contentious €186 million apartment scheme in south Dublin after An Bord Pleanála turned down permission for the development.

The appeals board refused planning to Mr Chawke’s Charjon Investments Ltd’s 299-unit proposal – reaching to eight storeys – amid widespread opposition to the plan in the Goatstown area. The scheme would have been located on the site of the publican’s Goat bar and grill.

The publican’s son, David Chawke, told The Irish Times on Friday the family had yet to see the full ruling but had been appraised of its main findings. He said they didn’t know whether they would or not would proceed with the planned development at this point.

In an interview last month, the publican said: “I really believe in this development and it would be a lovely legacy to leave to Goatstown and that is what I would like to do.”

An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission for the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) proposed for Goatstown after concluding that the proposed development would result in a visually dominant and overbearing form of development when viewed from the public realm, which would seriously injure the amenities of the area.

The proposed development. Source: thegoatshd.ie
The proposed development. Source: thegoatshd.ie

The appeals board found that at both town and streetscape level, the proposed development fails to successfully integrate into the character of the area, given the design strategy pursued and the visual prominence of the site.

The board said this was due partly to the topography of the site and partly due to its location at a key junction.

It found the proposal is contrary to the urban development and building height guidelines for planning authorities.

In refusing permission, the board upheld the recommendation of its own senior planning inspector, Rónán O’Connor.

Opposition

The scheme on the 4.6-acre site was made up of four apartment blocks ranging from five to eight storeys and proposed to retain the Goat bar and grill.

In total, 148 submissions were lodged with the board including ones from several residents’ associations in the area vehemently opposed to the scheme, and Minister for Tourism and Culture and local Greens TD Catherine Martin.

As part of the plan, Mr Chawke’s firm put an indicative price tag of €16.4 million on 30 apartments it was proposing selling to the council to comply with social housing requirements.

The company was planning to sell 17 one-bedroom and 13 two-bedroom apartments to the council and put an indicative price range of €408,237 to €595,028 on the one-bedroom apartments.

The indicative cost of the two-bedroom apartments was €676,169 to €768,297.

The council, in an extensive planning report, recommended the scheme be refused planning permission across six separate headings.

The planners’ report stated that while welcoming the development of an under-utilised brownfield site, it has “serious concerns” about the height and massing of the proposed scheme.

The local area plan stated buildings for the site should not be more than four storeys and Charjon Investments Ltd proposed double that.

The council report said the scheme “appears visually obtrusive and incongruous on the streetscape and visually overbearing”and that the height and massing of the scheme would adversely impact on the sunlight and daylight for residents of a number of apartment units, resulting in an inadequate level of amenity for future residents.

It said planning should be refused as the scheme materially contravenes the council’s development plan, would significantly impact on the existing residential amenity and depreciate the value of properties at Drummartin Terrace.

It also recommended the scheme be refused as it failed to provide the appropriate quantum and mix of residential uses as required by the neighbourhood centre zoning “and as such would not contribute towards the creation of a community with proximate retail and services of an appropriate scale”.