Planners tell Noel Smyth to scale back Dún Laoghaire build-to-rent scheme

Residents object to plan for 88 residential units at St Michael’s Hospital car park

Council planners have told Noel Smyth’s Fitzwilliam Real Estate to scale back its plans for an 88-unit build-to-rent scheme for Dún Laoghaire’s Seafront Quarter.

On November 24th last, Mr Smyth's Fitzwilliam DL Ltd lodged plans for two apartment blocks, with one rising to nine storeys and the second to eight storeys, at St Michael's Hospital car park, Crofton Park, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. This followed Mr Smyth's Fitzwilliam Real Estate's previous plan for a 102-unit build-to-rent scheme rising to 13 storeys for the site being stalled by a residents' judicial review action before the High Court.

Last July, Crofton Buildings Management CLG and Stephanie Bourke of Carrickbrennan Road, Monkstown, initiated a High Court challenge aimed at quashing An Bord Pleanála's fast-track decision that gave the 102-unit Strategic Housing Development the green light.

In a planning report lodged with the new application, John Spain Associates claims the new proposals will introduce a high-quality development at a strategic location which will signify the entrance to the Seafront Quarter.

The scheme comprises 67 one-bed units and 21 two-bed units.

Mr Spain said “the proposal will ensure the sustainable redevelopment and regeneration of one of the last key gap sites on the waterfront”. He said “the site is well placed to absorb a high-density development which is appropriately scaled and designed in the context of its urban surroundings”.

Local residents

However, in response to the new scheme, local residents are objecting, with those to object including the two parties – Crofton Buildings Management CLG and Stephanie Bourke – who initiated the High Court action.

Now, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Council has placed the Smyth scheme on hold and has told Fitzwilliam to reduce the nine-storey block further by removing two storeys from the scheme.

The council finds that the building is visually overbearing on the neighbouring properties and is also highly visible in long-distance views.

In her objection against the new scheme, it is stated on Ms Bourke’s behalf that the scheme represents overdevelopment on this infill site and will adversely affect local residents’ amenities.

The objection drawn up on Ms Bourke's behalf by planning consultant Conor Sheehan states that the scheme will have a particular impact on the residential amenities of the residents of Charlemont Terrace and Harbour View.