Residents start legal challenge over leave for 282 Crumlin apartments

Brickfield Drive scheme comprises four blocks ranging in height from four to 10 storeys

An artist’s impression of the proposed apartment scheme in Crumlin.

An artist’s impression of the proposed apartment scheme in Crumlin.

 

Local residents have initiated a legal challenge aimed at overturning An Bord Pleanála’s permission for 282 apartments on the site of the former Eason warehouse in Crumlin, south Dublin.

The €60 million Brickfield Drive scheme, comprising four apartment blocks ranging in height from four to 10 storeys, received fast-track approval in August despite strong opposition and 31 submissions lodged. As required, 28 of the apartments would be sold or leased to Dublin City Council for social housing.

When the judicial review application came before Mr Justice Richard Humphreys at the High Court on Tuesday, he said he would formally deal with it next Monday.

In their proceedings, Brickfield Drive residents Eoin Joy, Pat Lenihan, David Ryan and Gary Saunders allege An Bord Pleanála’s decision is invalid as the development materially contravenes open-space standards laid out in the Dublin City Development Plan, as well as building height guidelines in the National Planning Framework.

Represented by John Kenny, the residents claim the proposed development breaches the local development plan’s requirement for 10 per cent of a site to be zoned for public open space. They say the site will provide only a “minimal amount” of public open space, with the “vast majority” inaccessible to the general public.

The board’s inspector had been satisfied that a financial contribution in lieu of the on-site shortfall in public space would stop the development from contravening the development plan, as there is “extensive” space within the adjoining Brickfield Park.

The residents claim that decision is invalidated as the developer, Durkan (Brickfield Drive) Ltd, had not identified in its planning application this “material contravention” on public-space requirements. Many of the submissions made during the public consultation proceeded on the “understandable but incorrect assumption” the public would have access to the entirety of the site’s green spaces, they say. This contravention had not been subject to public participation, so the board should have refused to consider the application rather than seek to mend the developer’s error, the applicants argue.

In breach

The applicants claim no assessment was conducted of the capacity on the local Luas line and bus services, which had been included in the developer’s statement of material contravention as reasons for exceeding height limits in the terms of the National Planning Framework.

It is further alleged the board was in breach of urban planning guidelines when it allegedly failed to apply the correct test in respect of minimum daylight requirements for some of the apartments’ kitchen and living areas.

Other grounds of challenge include claims the board and State have failed to properly transpose provisions of the Habitats Directive into the planning regime. The State parties failed to demonstrate a system of strict protection of bat fauna, it is claimed.

It is further alleged the board did not identify any adequate basis for why the development was of national and strategic importance, as is required under the 2016 Housing Act.