Planning board denies 475-apartment project in Dublin’s Whitehall

Scheme ranging in height from four to eight storeys fails to meet open-space zoning target

An Bord Pleanála has rejected fast-track plans for a €200 million apartment complex scheme on Dublin's northside.

The appeals board has refused planning permission to Kieran Gannon's Eastwise Group for the 475 apartments after concluding that the Strategic Housing Development scheme did not meet the zoning objective of retaining 20 per cent of the lands as accessible open space.

The scheme – comprising seven blocks ranging in height from four to eight storeys – was to be located on the Swords Road between Drumcondra and Santry, at Hartfield Place in Whitehall, Dublin 9.


It was reported earlier this year that German fund Patrizia AG was closing in on the forward purchase of the development for a figure in excess of €200 million.


However, this decision scuppers that mooted deal.

As part of its social housing obligations, the developer was proposing to sell 47 apartments to Dublin City Council for €21.36 million. The developers had priced the two-bed apartments at €531,797 as part of that proposed deal and one-bed units at €350,437.

The decision, however, leaves the door open for revised plans to be lodged.

The board refused planning as the zoning requires that developments keep a minimum of 20 per cent for public open space. It also found that the proposal materially contravened the Dublin City Council development plan on communal open space to serve the apartments.

The board stated that the issue had not been addressed in planning documentation or site notices and it is therefore precluded from granting permission.

The council had recommended that permission be refused on the 20 per cent public open space and communal open space deficiencies attached to the application.


Planning consultants Thornton O’Connor Town Planning contended that the proposed scheme would “contribute positively to the urgent need to increase the housing supply”.

The consultants said that given the site's proximity to the main campus of Dublin City University and health employers such as Beaumont Hospital, the site could be regarded as a highly accessible location suitable for increased density.But local residents objected, claiming the development would have an excessive residential density resulting in overdevelopment and this would not be in keeping with the area.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times