Major housing development in south Dublin refused planning permission

Bórd Pleanála concerned over storm water management at proposed Leopardstown scheme

An Bórd Pleanála has shot down proposals for one of the biggest residential housing developments in the State.

Developer Michael Cotter's firm Viscount Securities had submitted plans for 927 housing units at Clay Farm in Leopardstown under the Government's new "fast-track" planning system.

The plan for the 20-hectare site off the Ballyogan Road and adjacent to Stepaside Golf Course included 365 houses and 562 apartments.

However, An Bórd Pleanála said the applicant had not provided adequate information in relation to storm water management in the area, which is prone to flooding.


The decision to refuse was decided by a casting vote from the board’s chairperson.

In its ruling, the board said it considered whether a partial grant or split decision would allow the proposed development to progress on a phased basis.

However, it said “considerable uncertainties regarding the issue of drainage across the entire site remained, sufficient to preclude these options”.

The board also said it agreed with inspector concerns that the scheme provided inadequate public open space to serve the housing units.

Some 53 submissions were made to Bórd Pleanála on the plan, with concerns raised about the scale of the proposed development, the likely impact on traffic and flooding.

Planning approval

Viscount Securities has submitted plans for the site under the Government’s Strategic Housing Development system which allows developers bypass local-authority planning processes for developments of more than 100 homes, or blocks of 200 student bedspaces.

The system was brought in last year to address the current housing crisis. Viscount’s proposal was the largest residential housing development awaiting planning approval under the system.

The process, however, does not allow for appeals and therefore Viscount Securities will have to begin the application process again.

An Bórd Pleanála is due to make decisions on 12 outstanding fast-track applications at various dates over the next three months with a number of decisions expected in February.

The application processes included a period of public consultation and followed the completion of a pre-application consultation with the planning authority and the relevant local authority.

An Bórd Pleanála confirmed it had dealt with 36 pre-application requests under the new system in recent weeks.

A €300 million on-campus accommodation complex at University College Dublin (UCD) was the first development to be formally approved under the new system last week. The university was granted permission for the development, comprising six multistorey blocks with 2,178 bedspaces, in just over three months.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times