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Plans for 299 apartments in blocks of up to 9 storeys in Glasnevin rejected after significant local objection

Plans were lodged in March for properties at the former Smurfit Printworks site.

The site in Glasnevin where houses are currently being built.
The site in Glasnevin where houses are currently being built.
Image: Cormac Fitzgerald/TheJournal.ie

PLANS FOR 299 apartments in buildings up to nine storeys in Glasnevin have been refused permission. 

Plans were lodged in March for a mix of residential and commercial properties at the former Smurfit Printworks site at the junction of Botanic Road and Iona Road in Glasnevin.

The application was lodged directly to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) under Strategic Housing Development planning rules introduced in December 2016.

These rules allow developments of over 100 residential units or 200 student beds to bypass city planners and go straight to ABP for a decision.

A total of 35 homes are already being built by Scanron on the site. The four- and five-bedroom homes are on the market for between €880,000 and 1.25 million.

Permission has already been granted for 76 apartments and 43 houses on the site. The rejected plans would have been a significant increase in the number of apartments.

Local objections 

There were strong local objections to the proposed development, with close to 100 third-party submissions received from a variety of different residents’ groups, individual residents and local councillors. 

In general, residents from the surrounding area had issues with the impact of the excessive height of the proposed development, which would have gone against the height limits allowed for in the Dublin City Development Plan. 

However, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy published new guidelines in December of last year which lifted the maximum height restrictions imposed by councils. The move overrides local councillors’ ability to restrict the heights of buildings. 

Those objecting to the plans also took issue with the density of the build, the lack of public open space, the negative effect on traffic in the area, the impact on nature and wildlife and the visual effect of nearby protected structures. 

In rejecting the plans, an ABP inspector said that the proposed designs of the buildings isn’t optimal for the area; that the applicant had not demonstrated how the proposed development would enhance the public realm of the area; and that it would not integrate well with the surrounding buildings in the area.   

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Fitzpatrick welcomed the rejection of the plans.  

“I think the right decision was made,” she told TheJournal.ie.

This new application represented a significant intensification of the development on the site 

Fitzpatrick said that local residents were “very pleased” with ABP’s decision, as the proposed plans would have been “hugely detrimental and have had a negative effect on the area”.

She said she would like to see the developer proceed with fulfilling the original planning permission on the site, and to ensure that some of the apartments were affordable and social housing. 

When questioned over the fact that ABP’s refusal could mean that no apartments are built on the site for a number of years, Fitzpatrick said that that would be “very disappointing”.

“It’s a prime site in the city for housing and homes,” she said, saying that homes were “desperately needed” in Dublin.  

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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