Goatstown site ‘can’t stay like it is with donkeys and goats on it’

Charlie Chawke: ‘I have invested all my savings in it. Every bob I had is gone into it’

Publican Charlie Chawke has said that his site in Goatstown "has to be built on as it can't stay like it is with donkeys and goats on it".

The proposal to build an €186 million apartment scheme beside The Goat pub in Goatstown was refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanála on Friday.

Mr Chawke said he was disappointed by the decision to reject his fast-track application and said that the eight storey high scheme “would be a lovely legacy to leave to Goatstown”.

“I have invested all my savings in it. Every bob I had is gone into it,” he said.

The proposal, however, provoked local opposition with 148 submissions lodged with the appeals board including from several residents’ associations in the area.


On Monday, Mr Chawke said that ahead of last Friday’s refusal he was confident of securing planning permission.

“When I saw everyone around getting planning for eight and nine storeys and so on I couldn’t understand how I couldn’t get planning for four, five and eight storeys,” he said.

“There is no point in crying about it. We weren’t right obviously with the planning application.”

Mr Chawke said that he has yet to meet up with the design team over the decision and that he “will have to have a good long think now and see what we do”.

However, giving a strong indication of seeking planning for a revised scheme for the site in the future, Mr Chawke said: “It is what it is and that’s it and we have to take it on the chin and move on – but we are not finished.”

The cost of lodging the fast-track application alone was a non-refundable €73,054 to An Bord Pleanála. And the costs mount from professional fees in drawing up the scheme – from planning and landscape experts, architects, engineers and lawyers.

The decision was released on the morning of Mr Chawke’s birthday last Friday but he said it failed to dampen a family celebration.

“I have gotten enough knocks all over life not to let this get me down.”

Planning consultant on the scheme Tom Phillips confirmed there are grounds for optimism that Mr Chawke could develop the site based on the Bord Pleanála's inspector's report attached to the decision.


"There is a lot of positivity in the inspector's report and he went through a lot of the criticisms by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the objectors and he dismissed a lot of the objections," said Mr Phillips.

He siad that the inspector in the case questioned the fundamental design concept of keeping the two-storey pub and building eight storey buildings around it. “If we had known then what we know now, it might be different.”

Mr Phillips said that his main takeaway from the inspector’s report that recommended refusal was “you are better off to take the pub out and build the smaller scheme”.

Mr Phillips pointed out that the concept of retaining the pub is a requirement of the council’s local area plan.

“It is still a developable site. It ticks every other box, he said.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times