Cornelscourt 419-unit ‘build-to-rent’ scheme gets green light

Local residents decry ‘random dumping of high-density, high-rise developments’

Contentious plans for a 419-apartment build-to-rent residential scheme on a site in Cornelscourt village in south Dublin have secured permission from An Bord Pleanála.

Cornel Living Ltd has won approval for the scheme fronting on to the N11 at Old Bray Road, Cornelscourt, Dublin 18, despite opposition from residents and a recommendation by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council that it be refused on five separate grounds.

More than 50 objections were lodged by local residents against the “fast track” scheme, with one of its five blocks rising to 12 storeys.

The scheme comprises 294 one-bed apartments, 111 two-bed apartments, seven three-bed apartment units and seven three-bed houses.


Cornel Living is proposing to lease 42 units to the council for social housing in line with social housing provisions.

Cornel Living was refused permission in April 2020 for a 468-unit scheme on the same site. A report lodged with the new application said a comprehensive review of the design approach has been undertaken to address the specific reasons for refusal and to ensure high levels of residential amenity, enhanced quality and quantity of open space.


The council had recommended refusal across a number of headings, including height, the scheme’s visual impact and lack of quality space.

One of the parties to object was the Foxrock South Residents Association, which represents nearly 200 houses in the nearby Cornelscourt Hill and Kerrymount Green estates.

It argued that the solution to the unsustainable spread of low-density suburban development “is not the random dumping of high-density, high-rise developments on to whatever random site becomes available within the existing outer suburbs”.

On behalf of the Willow Grove Residents Association, Marston Consultancy contended that the density of the proposal "is completely incongruous with its setting and context".


“Put simply, the site does not have capacity to absorb the scale of development proposed,” it said.

However, the appeals board inspector in the case, Una O’Neill, said she was satisfied the development was “reflective of good contemporary architecture and provides a high-quality design approach”.

She noted that in excess of 10 per cent of the site area has been proposed as open space and that “the open space proposed to be of exceptional high quality”, and also concluded that the scheme would make a positive contribution to the skyline of the area.

“It is my opinion that the proposed development will contribute to the sustainable and compact growth of the area,” Ms O’Neill said.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times