New housing estate in Dublin refused permission

An Bord Pleanála rejects development near Adamstown due to its size and ‘poor quality’

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald had appealed to An Bord Pleanála not to approve a new development in west Dublin.   File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald had appealed to An Bord Pleanála not to approve a new development in west Dublin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

An Bord Pleanála has refused permission for a development of 74 houses beside Adamstown in west Dublin after its inspector determined the estate would be too small for the site.

Minister for Justice and local Fine Gael TD Frances Fitzgerald had appealed to the board not to approve the development proposed by Crekav Landbank Investments Limited, the company fronted by 30-year-old Greg Kavanagh, the self-described “Ronaldo of the property market”.

In its ruling, the board cited the “poor quality of the residential layout and design” of the estate and said the development would be “injurious” to future occupants of the estate and existing residents of the area.

The board also agreed with its inspector, Philip Davis, that too few homes were planned for the site.

Mr Davis said the densities proposed were too low for the 2.47-hectare site and that “at least” 124 homes should be put on the land.

Lack of consultation

In a joint appeal with local Fine Gael councillor William Lavelle, Ms Fitzgerald complained of the lack of consultation with local residents over the planned development, the impact on open space, the lack of planning for traffic and the damage to mature trees.

A group of local residents objected on similar grounds.

However, while the board refused permission for the estate at Finnstown, east of the new suburb of Adamstown, it did not do so on the grounds cited by the appellants.

Crekav, the company that is also behind the controversial housing development proposed for lands adjoining St Anne’s Park in Raheny, had applied to South Dublin County Council for 74 detached, semidetached and terraced houses, all with four bedrooms, at the Finnstown Lodge site.

Last June the council granted Crekav permission for 58 of the houses, but refused 16 that would have required the felling of trees that were the subject of a draft tree preservation order.

The following month councillors voted to confirm the tree preservation order, against the advice of officials.

In addition to the appeals against the development, Crekav appealed to An Bord Pleanála to be allowed to build 69 houses, which it said could be done without cutting down the trees.

Housing density rules

In his recommendation for a refusal, Mr Davis said far too few houses were proposed for the land.

He said that national and county planning rules stipulated a minimum of 50 homes per hectare at this site, whereas the council’s decision to reduce the number of houses would result in just 24 per hectare.

“I can see no justification set out in any of the documents that would permit such a significant departure from the policy objectives set out in the development plan and in national statutory guidance,” Mr Davis said.

To ensure the land, which is 1.1km from a rail station and is one of the last zoned sites in the area, was used sustainably, “at least 124 dwelling units in a mix of sizes” would be required, he said.

Of the nine trees protected by the preservation order, only one was worth keeping, he said - the rest were “wholly unsuitable for protection”.