Ministers lodge objections to 698-bed student accommodation in Goatstown

Catherine Martin and Josepha Madigan make submissions to An Bord Pleanála

Minister for Tourism and Culture  Catherine Martin said the density and height of proposed development were in excess of what is permitted in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown development plan. File photograph: Gareth Chaney

Minister for Tourism and Culture Catherine Martin said the density and height of proposed development were in excess of what is permitted in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown development plan. File photograph: Gareth Chaney

 

Two Government Ministers are supporting locals’ objections to plans for a 698-bed student accommodation development across eight blocks in Goatstown in south Dublin.

Minister for Tourism and Culture Catherine Martin and Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan have each made submissions to An Bord Pleanála concerning the plan where the blocks range in height from three to seven storeys.

The plan has been lodged by Colbeam Ltd, an Irish arm of Michael Cox’s UK-based building company Hollybrook Homes, for a site located at Our Lady’s Grove, Goatstown, 850m from UCD.

A previous fast-track plan for the site for 132 apartments was granted planning permission by the board but the permission was quashed by the High Court following judicial review proceedings by a local resident.

In total, the appeals board has received 67 submissions, mainly from local residents, concerning the planned scheme.

In her submission, Ms Martin told the appeals board: “I would like to add my voice and my support to the residents’ groups who are making a submission in relation to this development with similar concerns and to urge An Bord Pleanála to give due weight to the issues that have been raised.”

Density and height

Ms Martin pointed out that the density and height of the proposed development are in excess of what is permitted in the current Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown development plan.

The Green Party Minister told the board that she was making her submission in her capacity as a TD elected for the Dublin Rathdown constituency.

Also a TD for the Dublin Rathdown constituency, Ms Madigan told the appeals board that from her many interactions with local residents it was very clear that the community had no intention of blocking housing development in the area for the sake of it.

However, Ms Madigan added: “All that they are asking for is a development that benefits both the existing and new communities.

“There is an underlying concern that this proposal will not achieve this goal.”

Thornton O’Connor Town Planning, consultants for Colbeam, told the appeals board that the site “is eminently suitable for student accommodation given its proximity to UCD”.

The consultants stated that Colbeam “is dedicated to improving upon the student accommodation offering in Dublin, to address the significant shortage in appropriately located purpose-built student accommodation bedspaces”. 

They said the development would result “in a high-quality student accommodation scheme that will be appropriately managed to ensure that the amenity of the local area is fully protected”. A decision on the application is due in June.