An Bord Pleanála will not oppose challenge to permission for 115 Dundrum apartments

It is understood the board concluded that it erred in how it applied a section of the local development plan

An Bord Pleanála has told the High Court it does not intend to oppose a legal challenge to its permission for 115 apartments in Dundrum, Dublin 14.

The board gave fast-tracked approval last December for the strategic housing development (SHD) at Frankfort Castle, Old Frankfort, notwithstanding more than 50 objections.

It is understood the board’s concession in the legal case comes in response to the applicants’ claim that the developer had not identified a “material contravention” of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Development Plan relating to open space requirements.

An Bord Pleanála is understood to have concluded that it erred in how it applied the relevant section of the local plan.

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The judicial review challenge was brought by the Woodlawn Park Residents Action Group and 18 others who are local to the proposed build.

In court documents, the applicants, represented by Stephen Dodd, instructed by FP Logue solicitor Eoin Brady, said they were concerned the proposed scheme represented a “significant over-development of the site”.

When the matter came before Mr Justice David Holland on Monday, Rory Mulcahy, for the board, said his client would not be opposing the claim for a court order overturning the permission. He said An Bord Pleanála will correspond with the parties in relation to proposed orders.

Jarlath Fitzsimons, representing developer Pembroke Partnership Limited, which is a notice party in the case, said the move was “disappointing”.

The proposed development required the demolition of a house, a derelict building called Frankfort Lodge and an extension to Frankfort Castle, which was built in the 1850s.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council had recommended refusing planning permission for the scheme, which was to comprise 45 one-bed apartments and 70 two-bed apartments in blocks that had a maximum height of five storeys.

It had concluded the proposed development would appear visually obtrusive and overbearing when viewed from properties in Highfield Park and Frankfort Court.

The council also submitted that the build would negatively impact upon residential amenities by way of overlooking and overshadowing.

The permission was granted under the SHD system, which facilitated applications for certain large-scale developments to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála, bypassing local authorities. The system is currently being phased out.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is High Court Reporter with The Irish Times