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Major housing development beside Dublin park scaled back amid objections

Locals argue the land is not zoned for housing.

st annes

CONTROVERSIAL PLANS FOR a major residential development in a north Dublin park have been scaled back by the developer.

The plans for the north-west corner of St Anne’s Park in Raheny were announced last year but locals have objected on various grounds including that the land is not zoned for housing.

The initial plans by IMG Planning on behalf of Crekav Landbank Investments would have seen 381 new housing units of various types and sizes built on the site.

Revised plans submitted to Dublin City Council now show that this been reduced by 25 units to 356, a 6.6% reduction on the previous proposal.

The plans would now see 86 new houses and 270 apartments built on the site.

A number of other alterations to the plans have also been made. These include moving the proposed apartment blocks closer to Harmonstown Dart Station, to within 500m of the station.

Some of the objections had cited increased traffic problems because of the development.

Other alterations include altering designs for some of the terraced and detached houses to make them three-storey duplex and therefore reducing the overall area used.

The development is controversial partly because the site sits within the parkland area than includes St Anne’s Park but is in fact privately owned.

The site in question encompasses playing pitches that were owned by the Vincentian secondary school St Paul’s College but were sold to developers.

The pitches are alongside the main avenue running through St Anne’s Park and border some other Dublin City Council-owned pitches in the park.

PastedImage-58271 Planning application details on the Dublin City Council website. Source: dublincity.ie

The pitches have been fenced off in recent years but are still used by local sports teams. Some of the objections to the development have been based on concerns that the teams would lose facilities as a result of the proposals.

The development includes plans for a dedicated all-weather flood-lit sports field for the school but local politicians have argued that the wider community would not have full access to these facilities.

A number of politicians have objected to the development, arguing that the land in question is not specifically zoned for residential housing.

Under the Dublin City Council Development Plan, the land is zoned as Z15 meaning that it is zoned for “institutional and community” use rather than Z1 for “sustainable residential neighbourhoods”.

Under the Z15 zoning, “residential development is open for consideration” but politicians argue that the plans go beyond what would be appropriate.

In his letter to Dublin City Council, for example, councillor Naoise Ó Múirí argues that under the Z15 zoning homes can only be built “to ensure ongoing effective use of institutional lands”.

He gives the examples of increased student accommodation in DCU or residential facilities in a nursing home.

Read: Plan for contentious housing scheme rejected after developers use wrong name >

Read: Locals who objected to housing scheme given cash back after developer screw-up >

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