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Charlie Chawke refused permission for apartments on site of Goatstown pub

The development was proposed at the site of The Goat Bar and Grill.

The Goat Bar and Grill
The Goat Bar and Grill
Image: Google Maps

AN BORD PLEANÁLA has turned down planning permission to Charlie Chawke’s contentious plan to construct a €186 million apartment scheme on the site of the publican’s Goat Bar and Grill in south Dublin.

The appeals board has refused permission to Chawke’s Charjon Investments Ltd’s 299 unit proposal – reaching eight storeys in height – after widespread opposition to the plan in the local area.

In its ruling today, the appeals board refused planning permission for the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) proposed for Goatstown.

They concluded that the proposed development would result in a visually dominant and over-bearing form of development when viewed from the public realm, which would seriously injure the amenities of the area.

The appeals board found that at both town and streetscape level the proposed development fails to successfully integrate into the existing character of the area, given the design strategy pursued and the visual prominence of the site.

The board stated that this was due partly to the topography of the site and partly due to its location at a key junction.

The appeals board found that the proposal is contrary to the Urban Development and building height guidelines for planning authorities.

In refusing planning permission, the board upheld the recommendation of its own senior planning inspector, Rónán O’Connor, to refuse planning permission.

In an interview after the plans were lodged, Chawke said: “I really believe in this development and it would be a lovely legacy to leave to Goatstown and that is what I would like to do.”

However, the appeals board refused planning permission to the well-known publican after a 70-page report by the chief executive of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council recommended to An Bord Pleanála that the scheme for Goatstown should be refused on a number of grounds.

The apartment scheme on the 4.6 acre site was made up of four apartment blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height and proposed to retain the Goat Bar and Grill.

In total, 148 submissions were lodged with the board, including ones from several residents’ associations in the area vehemently opposed to the scheme.

One of those to make a submission was Green Party’s Minister for Tourism and Culture and local TD, Catherine Martin, who told the appeals board that she has “concerns in relation to this development”.

As part of the plan, Chawke’s firm put an indicative price tag of €16.4m on 30 apartments it was proposing selling to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Council to comply with social housing requirements

The company was planning to sell 17 one bedroom and 13 two bedroom apartments to the council and put an indicative price range of €408,237 to €595,028 on the one-bedroom apartments.

The indicative cost of the two bedroom apartments was €676,169 to €768,297.

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The local council, in an extensive planning report, recommended that the scheme be refused planning permission across six separate headings.

The planners’ report stated that while welcoming the development of an under-utilised brownfield site, it has “serious concerns” over the height and massing of the proposed scheme.

The local area plan stated that buildings for the site should not be more than four storeys and Chawke’s Charjon Investments Ltd is proposing double that height to eight storeys.

The council report stated that the scheme “appears visually obtrusive and incongruous on the streetscape and visually overbearing”.

The local authority also stated that the height and massing of the scheme would adversely impact on the sunlight and daylight for residents of a number of apartment units resulting in an inadequate level of amenity for future residents.

The Council also stated that planning should be refused as the scheme materially contravenes the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Development Plan and would significantly impact on existing residential amenity and would depreciate the value of properties at Drummartin Terrace.

The council also recommended that the scheme be refused as it failed to provide the appropriate quantum and mix of residential uses as required by the neighbourhood centre zoning “and as such would not contribute towards the creation of a community with proximate retail and services of an appropriate scale”.

About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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