Enniskerry development of 165 homes gets go-ahead

Despite objections from Church of Ireland and locals, Cairn Homes to proceed with plan

Enniskerry in Co Wicklow being readied for the filming of Disney movie Disenchanted this summer. An Bord Pleanála has allowed plans for a €60 million ‘fast-track’ residential development in the area. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to plans for a €60 million “fast-track” residential development for Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, in spite of a representative body for the Church of Ireland expressing concern over the plan.

The appeals board has granted planning permission to Cairn Homes for 165 residential units, made up of 105  houses and 60 apartments, on lands 1km south east of the Co Wicklow village in spite of strong local opposition.

Wicklow County Council had also recommended to the board that planning permission be refused while 68 submissions were made by third parties.

The council stated the scheme would be a material contravention of the local development plan and also represent a traffic hazard.


Public transport

However, the board stated that the site was located 20km from Dublin city centre, was served by public transport and could assist in the delivery of housing.

An Bord Pleanála noted that the proposed development was of strategic or national importance due to its potential to contribute to the achievement of the Government’s policy to increase delivery of housing.

In a submission on the plan, Pauline High, a property manager with the Church of Ireland, stated the design was better suited to a suburban-type development and didn’t take any account of the rural location of the site.

Wicklow County Council also recommended to the appeals board that planning permission be refused, and 68 submissions were made by third parties. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe

Ms High stated: “We would have concerns as to the additional traffic this will bring to the area and the impact this will have on what is otherwise a very tranquil setting.”

Excessive density

The submission supported the views made by the Powerscourt Rectory where honorary secretary of the Powerscourt Parish Barbara Davis argued that the density was excessive.

The board of management of the Powerscourt National School also opposed the scheme, stating “We strongly oppose this current development as we feel it will have an extremely negative impact on the school in several key areas.”

Local residents also objected to the scheme but the board inspector in the case, Karen Hamilton, recommended that permission be granted and found that the proposed density was appropriate to support the efficient use of lands at the site.

CEO and co-founder of Cairn, Michael Stanley said: “I welcome the decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for the development of our Cookstown Road site in Enniskerry.

"This development will contribute to the delivery of private housing in the Enniskerry area which continues to experience high demand for quality family housing. Our focus is and continues to be on creating a high-quality development for the local community in the area,” he added.

As part of the proposal, Cairn has put an indicative price of €6 million on selling 16 units to Wicklow County Council for social housing.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times