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Plans for over 250 homes on Hollystown Golf Club lands rejected as 'substandard form of development'

ABP said the plans would “result in a substandard form of development”.

File photo of the entrance to Hollystown Golf Course.
File photo of the entrance to Hollystown Golf Course.
Image: Google Street View

PLANS FOR OVER 250 homes on the lands of a golf club in north Dublin were rejected last month by An Bord Pleanála due to issues around connectivity, layout and the design of the proposed development. 

Plans were lodged by Glenveagh Homes Limited to build the houses and apartments and associated site works on lands at Hollystown Golf Club, Hollystown, Dublin 15.

Glenveagh – a housebuilder backed by US vulture fund Oaktree Capital – acquired the 162 acre site in early 2018, 19 of which are zoned for residential use, with the golf course still functioning. 

The developer lodged plans directly to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) in March of this year 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.

The plans were for a the change of use of the golf club to residential and open space and the construction of 253 residential units – 120 apartments and 133 houses. 

ABP came back to the developer late last month rejecting the plans outright.

Reasons for refusal

In their report which forms the basis for the refusal, an ABP inspector states that the development is a “poor design concept that is substandard in its form, layout and elevational treatment”.

The inspector found that the proposed development failed to provide high quality open spaces; failed to establish a sense of place; and would…

“…result in a substandard form of development lacking in variety and distinctiveness, all of which would lead to conditions injurious to the residential amenities of future occupants”.

The inspector also found that the plans would also fail to create well-connected communities and fail to encourage walking and cycling. 

The lack of meaningful pedestrian and cycle facilities proposed along the site boundary with the nearby R121 road was raised as an issue, with the inspector stating that any development of the lands would be “premature pending the provision of these improvement works”.

The inspector also stated that the lack of proper cycle paths along the main access road through nearby GAA lands was unacceptable. 

The report states that if development was carried out before these issues were addressed the proposed development would “endanger public safety by reason of a traffic hazard, including hazard to pedestrians and cyclists”.

ABP rejected the plans outright on this basis. A total of 25 submissions were also received in relation to the plans, from a mix of government bodies, residents’ groups and individual residents.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Glenveagh said:

We note ABP’s position and look forward to working with them to deliver a high quality housing scheme in the area. 

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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