Controversial Dublin block of flats ‘first phase’ of development

Six-storey Kilternan block would be followed by offices and more housing, developer says

The Golden Ball pub in Kilternan. The view of the Dublin mountains from Enniskerry Road is protected under the Kilternan local area plan. Image: Google Maps

The Golden Ball pub in Kilternan. The view of the Dublin mountains from Enniskerry Road is protected under the Kilternan local area plan. Image: Google Maps

 

A controversial bid to build a six-storey apartment block in south Dublin is just the “first phase” of development and would be followed by offices and more housing nearby if planning permission was granted, the developer has said.

Calerotech, a company operated by director Greg Kavanagh, sought permission from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on April 6th to build the six-storey apartment block, with 97 residential apartments and 114 car-parking spaces, next to the Golden Ball pub in Kilternan.

In papers lodged with the county council on May 9th, Kavanagh outlined his intention to seek planning permission later on for a mixed-use development along “the Glenamuck Road or along the Enniskerry Road”.

His later plans, consisting of a six-storey commercial development with ground-floor retail, offices on the first and second floors and apartments overhead, would have a “magnetic effect” on Kilternan and create “active employment in the village”, he said.

However, the land immediately adjacent to the site of the Golden Ball is currently subject to planning restrictions by Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown “to protect and/or improve residential amenity”, though the restrictions are not binding on councillors.

Protected view

The pub is located at the foot of a clear view of Three Rock mountain and Two Rock mountain, at the intersection of Enniskerry Road and Glenamuck Road, and the view from Enniskerry Road is protected under the Kilternan local area plan.

This says “it is the intention of the council to prevent development that would block or otherwise interfere with a view which is designated for protection”. Kavanagh’s proposed first development would block that view.

Labour party councillor Lettie McCarthy said she would “probably retire” if Kavanagh got planning permission. “None of us want to see development on the mountainside,” she said, citing the quality of life and mental health benefits the mountain view provides locals.

The local area plan, adopted in 2013, favoured two- to three-storey developments on Enniskerry Road, subject to “building design, the merits of the proposal, elevation and the need to retain views to the Dublin mountains to the southwest”.

Calerotech received planning permission on October 27th, 2016, for the partial destruction of the Golden Ball and the construction of a three-storey block of 39 residential units, consisting of houses and apartments, as well as the construction of seven ground-floor retail units.

The council initially rejected the application, due to the proposed development being “contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”. However, An Bord Pleanála later approved Calerotech’s planning appeal.

Cllr McCarthy said the three-storey development approved then would be “acceptable”, but Mr Kavanagh’s decision to seek an amendment to let him build up to six storeys would not be.

The property developer disputes the local objections to his revised plans, saying increasing the height of the development to six storeys would not affect the view of the Dublin mountains “any further than the three-storey, granted proposal”.

Fine Gael councillor John Kennedy described the application for a six-storey apartment block as positive for the local area: “I think that Kilternan is underdeveloped and underpopulated”. Given the housing shortage, development is necessary, he added.