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Apartments overlooking graveyard in Dublin get green light despite concerns mourners will be 'robbed of their privacy'

An appeal has now been lodged with An Bord Pleanála by a separate party against the development going ahead.

The entrance to Mount Jerome Cemetery in Harold's Cross.
The entrance to Mount Jerome Cemetery in Harold's Cross.
Image: Google Maps

A DEVELOPMENT OF 34 apartments in Harold’s Cross was last month given the green light by Dublin City Council planners, despite concerns from the adjacent cemetery that it would rob mourners of their privacy.  

An appeal has now been lodged with An Bord Pleanála by a separate party against the development going ahead. 

The appeal was submitted to An Bord Pleanála late last month by Martin Ryan, a solicitor and property owner in the area, with properties adjacent to the proposed development. 

The appeal comes after a number of concerned parties – including Ryan, local residents’ groups and the company behind Mount Jerome Cemetery – lodged objections to the development. 

The application for the apartments was lodged on 21 December of last year by Rivergate Property Harold’s Cross Limited, which is led by construction consultant Joe McCaffrey.

The application is for the demolition of existing buildings and structures at 126 to 128 Harold’s Cross Road and the construction of an infill residential development of 34 apartments, made up of:

  • 18 two-bedroom units 
  • 11 one-bedroom units 
  • five studio units

These would be spread over two blocks with balconies, with the highest block being five storeys. The application also requests permission for 30 car parking spaces, bicycle parking, refuse store and a landscaped courtyard and associated works. 

Objections 

The application was met with nine separate objections and concerns from different groups.

The objections were to do with the size and scale of the development in relation to other buildings in the area. Concerns were also raised around potential traffic issues, flooding risks, and parking.

Alan Massey – secretary of the General Cemetery Company of Dublin, which owns Mount Jerome Cemetery – raised concerns about all of the above, as well as the impact balconies overlooking the proposed development would have on mourners visiting graves. 

“Mourners attending to their loved one’s graves in these sections will be robbed of their privacy when paying their respects to their deceased family members by people in these proposed balconies / terraces overlooking them,” Massey said on behalf of the cemetery, calling for the balconies to be removed from the design. 

In another objection, Stephen Mason Architectural and Planning Services (SMAPS) submitted concerns of behalf of Martin Ryan, who later lodged the appeal. 

Mason stated that there had been no consultation by the applicant with neighbours in the area, that the proposed development represented an “under-development” of the site and that it did not take into account the effect it would have on neighbours. 

Concerns were also raised around the impact the development would have on traffic and parking in the area. 

Other submissions were received from local residents’ groups, individual residents and management companies operating in the area. 

Council decision 

The council came back to the developer requesting four pieces of additional information before it issued a decision.

These related to the proximity of the proposed development to other buildings, as well as requirements to detail how emergency vehicles would access the development. 

The developer submitted these and the council granted permission to the development in May with 15 conditions attached, relating to flooding, construction plans and the need to carry out an archaeology assessment, among others. 

Martin Ryan submitted an appeal on 28 May, with a decision expected from An Bord Pleanála by the end of September.  

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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