Over 700 objections lodged against €466m Dundrum apartment ‘concrete jungle’

Scheme includes ‘landmark’ 16-storey tower block at northernmost point of site

More than 700 objections have been lodged against a €466 million, 881-unit apartment scheme that property giant Hammerson is proposing to build in Dundrum.

The controversial “fast track” scheme by subsidiary of the UK property group, Dundrum Retail GP DAC, includes a “landmark” 16-storey apartment block at the northernmost point of the site.

However, the scheme is facing widespread local opposition, with objections from eight residents’ associations and one primary school among the 705 objections lodged against the planned Strategic Housing Development (SHD).

Underling the depth of local feeling against the scheme, local residents have variously described it as “appalling”, “destructive”, “a visual catastrophe”, “a vertical sprawl”, “an eyesore”, “a concrete jungle”, “monstrous” and “a developer’s dream”.

The scheme involves 11 blocks across four “zones” and the developers are seeking an eight-year planning permission to complete the scheme. It comprises 335 one-bed apartments, 85 two-bed three-person apartments, 379 two-bed four-person apartments and 82 three-bed apartments.

Aileen Eglington, chairwoman of the Kilternan Glenamuck Residents Association, told the appeals board it was "wrong that a developer can dictate how a full village is developed. Whilst we all recognise that we must have housing for current need, this development is not the answer."

Another local resident, Laura Watters, said: "Tower blocks are not part of any main street in Ireland and do not belong in Dundrum."

Maria Quigley said Dundrum needed "a community area that brings local people together, not a vertical sprawl up to 16 stories of apartment blocks squeezed into a suburban environment".

Junior minister Josepha Madigan added to the objections. In her submission, the minister asked the appeals board "to give strong consideration to the concerns of all local residents, and takes their views into account, when the board makes its decision".

“In particular, they have expressed their worry that the proposed height and density of the development will place undue pressure on local infrastructure, such as public transport, roads, and schools.”

As part of a planning submission lodged with the scheme, BMA Planning states that “the proposed development of the Dundrum village site is an appropriate response for this major town centre site and would provide high quality residential and supporting village centre uses at a central and accessible location in need of regeneration”.

The designers said the vision is to deliver a contemporary and vibrant place to live, underpinned by the re-establishment of the traditional shopping thoroughfare along Dundrum Main Street. Their submission states that the scheme will create new public spaces within and through the site, alongside a series of connected and landscaped courtyard developments.

A decision is due on the application in July.