Walkinstown roundabout housing plan fails to get planning permission

Eight-storey apartment block with pub and retail units was proposed for Kestrel site

The Kestrel House pub at the Walkinstown roundabout:  scale and height of the proposed building deemed “an incongruent addition” to the area and at variance with the  streetscape. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

The Kestrel House pub at the Walkinstown roundabout: scale and height of the proposed building deemed “an incongruent addition” to the area and at variance with the streetscape. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

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Planning permission for an eight-storey apartment block and retail outlets at one of the busiest traffic junctions in Dublin has been refused because of its “unacceptable impact” on the local area.

The Double Property Group sought approval for the demolition of the Kestrel House pub located adjacent to the Walkinstown roundabout in order to construct an apartment block of 52 units with three retail units as well as a new pub at ground floor level.

The proposed building would have been just over 26.5m in height, which Dublin City Council ruled was “unacceptable” for the location.

Council planners also claimed insufficient information had been provided about air quality given its proximity to traffic at the roundabout.

They said the proposed development failed to integrate with the existing character of Walkinstown and was “visually dominant and overbearing”.

Traffic and safety

The local authority said the lack of any car parking facilities would also have created additional parking and road safety issues in an area that was already heavily trafficked.

“The proposed development, located on a heavily trafficked junction and road network, has not demonstrated that the location can accommodate a car-free development,” it noted.

The council refused permission because of its potential impact on footpaths and cycle lanes associated with the Bus Connects project that would see a key public transport corridor pass through the Walkinstown roundabout.

It claimed the quality of private and community amenity spaces was compromised by noise intrusion, while there was also “a lack of meaningful landscaping” and restricted sunlight access.

The development had been strongly opposed by locals including the Walkinstown Residents’ Association with 57 objections lodged against the plans.

Suburban location

Many claimed the proposed apartment block represented overdevelopment and was not appropriate for a suburban location.

They noted that the building contravened the Dublin City Development Plan, which limits buildings to a maximum height of 16m. Objectors also claimed it would add to traffic congestion.

Although planners said a mixed-use development on the site of the Kestrel was acceptable in principle, and was at a location with good access to public transport services, the scale and height of the building would be “an incongruent addition” to the area and at significant variance to the existing streetscape in Walkinstown.

The council ruled the height of the apartment block was excessive while the development would “fail to provide an adequate quality of amenity space” for future occupants.

The Double Property Group, which is led by Clodagh Robinson and Seán Hanningan, claimed the development had been “sensitively designed” for what would be a landmark building for the surrounding area.

The council’s decision may be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

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