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A CGI mock-up of the proposed development Dundrum Central Residential
central mental hospital

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council clears way for €378m Central Mental Hospital housing scheme

The fast-track scheme would be made up to 957 apartments and 20 houses.

DUN LAOGHAIRE-RATHDOWN County Council has cleared the way for planning permission to be granted for 977 affordable homes to be built at the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) in Dundrum.

This follows the Council recommending to An Bord Pleanala that planning permission should be granted for the €378m Land Development Agency (LDA) scheme.

The overall ‘fast track’ scheme – made up of 957 apartments and 20 houses – comprises nine blocks ranging from two to part seven storeys in height.

As part of a 108 page chief executive’s report on the scheme lodged by the Council with An Bord Pleanala, it states that quantum of the development and how it’s expressed on site “is an appropriate and successful approach to delivering much needed housing at scale”.

However, the council has recommended that the number of three bedroom units be increased in the scheme from 110 to 195 – or 20% of the overall total.

In its report, the Council conclude that the proposed development would not detract from the character of the surrounding area and would not adversely impact on the residential amenity of adjacent properties.

An Bord Pleanala has received 45 objections from locals and one of those to object to the scheme is former Irish rugby international and current Head of Operations at Leinster rugby, Guy Easterby.

In a joint objection with his wife, Laurie to the Land Development Agency (LDA) scheme, the Easterbys have stated that “we strongly object to the density, height and positioning of the proposed units that are currently on the plans”.

The couple who live in Goatstown have told An Bord Pleanala “we understand the need for housing/accommodation in the area but this cannot be at any cost to the local community and to the further detriment of our local infrastructure that is already struggling to cope with the demands on it.”

Residents’ groups, the Roebuck Residents Association and the Annaville Dundrum Rd Residents Association have also lodged submissions concerning the scheme.

Elsewhere in their objection, the Easterbys state that “whilst acknowledging the need for housing the number of units proposed for this site is excessive at best”.

They contend that “the attitude seems to be that ‘the land is available so let’s cram as many residences as possible in without any regard for people already living in the area’”.

The Easterbys state that “the local community as a whole will need to deal with the huge infrastructure issues that are definitely coming our way particularly when you consider that at last count there are 6,700 units delivered, in planning or with planning since 2018 within 600m of our community”.

They state that this “is equivalent to transplanting the population of Longford town (10,008 in 2016 census) into Dundrum without providing any of the facilities”.

The couple also contend that it is clear that given the extent of development in the immediate surrounding area that the transport network “does not have the capacity to support this proposal and as such it represents over development of the area”.

As a result, the Easterbys believe that there should be a reduction in the number of units “to somewhere in the region of 700 and a reduction in heights of all the apartment blocks proposed to reflect this”.

On the proximity of the scheme to nearby homes, the Easterbys state that “in areas of the development around our own road, Friarsland Road, and indeed Larchfield Road, the separation distances are as little as 15 metres”.

They ask: “How can this be deemed acceptable?”

They state: “The plans will severely affect the lives of the residents of the houses where this is applicable and it is totally unacceptable in our view. Can you imagine a proposal like that next to your own home?”

A decision is due on the SHD application in July.

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