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'It's just not a good idea': Locals object to 155-bedroom nursing home being built in historic convent grounds

An appeal was lodged with ABP in relation to the development

The wall and the grounds of the convent seen from Convent Road.
The wall and the grounds of the convent seen from Convent Road.
Image: Google Maps

AN APPEAL HAS been lodged by a number of Clondalkin-based groups and residents against planning permission being granted to a 155-bedroom nursing home in the town. 

South Dublin County Council last month granted planning permission to Bartra Property (NH) Ltd to build the nursing home on the historical Presentation Convent Site, Convent Road in Clondalkin. 

Barta lodged an application in September of last year. The four-storey building is to be built on lands to the south and west of the convent building itself. The land is owned by the Presentation Sister religious order, which had maintained a presence in the area since 1857.

SDCC received dozens of submissions from different Clondalkin groups and individuals in relation to the proposed development, with objections being lodged in relation to the size and scale of the development, among other concerns. 

Local historical groups, residents’ associations, elected representatives and individual citizens all lodged submissions.    

Locals are concerned that the plans represent an over-development and the building would block the view of the convent from the road and detract from the visual amenity and tourist/ heritage draw of the wider area.

There were also issues raised about the potential impact on traffic on the small road leading into Clondalkin Road which has three schools nearby and is already considered a bottleneck.

Concerns were also expressed at how the brick finish of the proposed development does not match the limestone brick finish of the church and convent, and how the construction may interfere on a colony of endangered swift birds which nest in the Convent grounds. 

Concerns

Permission was granted by SDCC for the development on 22 May. Those who had raised concerns were disappointed and a meeting was held a week later organised by the local Tidy Towns Committee. 

Those present decided to lodge a joint appeal to An Bord Pleanála against the decision by SDCC. A professional planning consultant was employed to prepare the appeal and it was submitted yesterday. 

“The design of the building and where it’s supposed to go it’s just not a good idea,” said Monica McGill, a local resident who has objected to the development. 

Well I think SDCC have a responsibility for developments that are proposed for the area and they chosen to accept it so whilst I respect their choice… I have to say I completely disagree with it  

McGill said that lodging an appeal was not something that she or others did “lightly”, but that they felt they needed to.

Newly elected Independent councillor Eoin Ó Broin told TheJournal.ie that the development was another example of some of the “shocking” planning decisions that had been made in Clondalkin recently. 

He said the unique historical character of the area was being diminished and the latest development would not be good for the area as a whole. 

Residents have also expressed their disappointment at the decision by the Presentation Sisters to allow the development to go ahead on their lawn.

Chairman of the Brigid’s Residents Association Bernard Cronin confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the appeal was lodged with ABP yesterday.

He said that his groups and others would be starting a public awareness campaign in the coming weeks in opposition to the development. 

Barta Property LTD is part of the wider Bartra Capital Property group founded by boomtime developer Richard Barrett. The firm is already building a 221-bed nursing home in Artane in Dublin.

Recently Bartra Capital Property lodged plans for a 208-bed co-living development in Dún Laoghaire. This sparked political controversy with opposition politicians, including Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald, described it as a “glamourised form of tenement living”.

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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