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Architect's Appraisal
Dún Laoghaire

Council recommends refusing Charlie Chawke's €186m Goat apartment plan

Minister for Tourism and Culture and local TD Catherine Martin has told the appeals board that she has “concerns in relation to this development”.

PUBLICAN CHARLIE CHAWKE’S contentious plan of constructing a €186 million apartment scheme reaching to eight storeys in height on the site of the Goat Bar and Grill has suffered a setback.

This follows a 70-page report by the chief executive of Dún Laoghaire County Council recommending to An Bord Pleanála that the fast track 299-unit apartment scheme for Goatstown in south Dublin should be refused on a number of grounds.

The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) on the 4.6 acre site is made up of four apartment blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height and retains the Goat Bar & Grill.

The plan is facing widespread local opposition with 148 submissions 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 is Minister for Tourism and Culture and local TD for the Green Party, Catherine Martin who has told the appeals board that she has “concerns in relation to this development”.

In an interview earlier this month, Chawke stated: “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.”

Goats plan Architect's Appraisal Architect's Appraisal

However, in an extensive planning report submitted on behalf of the Council, it is recommending that the scheme be refused planning permission across six separate headings.

The planners’ report states 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 states 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.

Storeys Architect's Appraisal Architect's Appraisal

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

The local authority also states 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.

Across six headings, the Council has stated that planning should be refused as the scheme materially contravenes the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Development Plan and would significantly impact on existing residential amenity and would be depreciate the value of properties at Drummartin Terrace.

The Council has also recommended that the scheme be refused as it fails 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”.

The local authority also states that the mix of units, notably the lack of larger three+ bedrooms would fail to deliver an appropriate mix of of housing types.

The councillors who object

Cllr John Kennedy (FG) is one of those to have lodged objections against the scheme. A member of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council, Cllr Kennedy welcomed the chief executive’s report to recommend refusal.

However, Cllr Kennedy expressed concern at the frequency with which An Bord Pleánala is granting planning permission for “excessive developments” and ignoring recommendations to refuse by Councils.

This week, the Council granted planning permission for a 22 storey €200m apartment scheme at Golf Lane, Carrickmines in spite of a strong recommendation from Dún Laoghaire County Council to refuse permission.

Cllr Kennedy said: “There is a lot of unhappiness in the area over the Goat plan and I would be concerned that An Bord Pleanála will over-rule the Council and grant planning permission.

He stated that people understand the need for housing “but the board ignoring the recommendations of local politicians and planners undermines local democracy and local planning guidance. There is an ongoing tension over it”.

Party colleague, Cllr Maeve O’Connell (FG) stated today that the planned scheme is “too much – too tall. It is inappropriate for the site”.

Cllr O’Connell pointed out that SHDs are not speeding up the delivery of housing. She stated that of the SHDs approved in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council area only 40 per cent “have broken ground”.

She also stated that the SHDs are also not delivering affordability.

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

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

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

An Bord Pleanála is due to make a decision on the application in June.

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