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Major property developer refused planning permission for over 300 homes in South Dublin

An Bord Pleanála rejected the application by Cairn Homes Properties to develop the scheme of 305 new housing units in Carrickmines.

ONE OF THE country’s largest property developers has been refused planning permission for its proposal to build over 300 new homes in south Dublin due to its excessive height and density as well as a lack of road infrastructure.

An Bord Pleanála rejected the application by Cairn Homes Properties to develop the scheme of 305 new housing units consisting of 289 build-to-rent apartments and 16 houses as well as a creche at Ashwood Farm, Glenamuck Road South, Carrickmines, Co Dublin.

The apartments were to be constructed in five blocks ranging from six to seven storeys in height over basement which also contained a gym, co-working space, meeting room, café and residents’ lounge.

The scheme also included plans for 16 build-to-sell, three-storey, five-bedroom houses on a 2.81-hecatre greenfield site.

Cairn Homes Properties had applied for planning permission under the fast-track process for strategic housing developments that removed the requirement for developers to first lodge an application with a local authority.

In its ruling, An Bord Pleanála said the proposed development had a density of 109 housing units per hectare which was contrary to the recommended level of 35-55 units per hectare set out in the Kiltiernan-Glenamuck Local Area Plan (LAP).

Given the limited availability of services for the site and the established character of the area, the board said the plans by Cairn Homes would represent a material contravention of the council’s policy objective for the site.

The board also refused planning permission for the project on grounds that the site was not identified as one where buildings of over four storeys would be encouraged under the building height strategy contained in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Development Plan 2022-2028.

It pointed out that the LAP indicated that only development up to five storeys in height would be acceptable in the area.

The board said the proposed housing scheme would be out of character for the area and would have a negative impact on local visual amenities.

It also ruled that the development was premature on the basis that there was a need for road improvements in the area under the LAP which indicated new housing schemes should be introduced on a phased basis.

The board pointed out that approximately 1,300 units had already been approved to date, while the LAP stated the development of more than 700 units should only go ahead once a new distributor road scheme for the Glenamuck area was fully completed.

In addition, the board ruled that the development did not provide for “a suitable high quality of urban design.”

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council had also recommended that planning permission for the development should be refused on similar grounds to An Bord Pleanála including that it was premature pending road improvements in the area.

The council also noted it was proposing a build-to-rent scheme in an area with poor public transport.

Although not listed as reasons for refusal, the council also criticised the lack of bulky storage spaces, a shortfall in car parking spaces, poor bicycle parking and potential road traffic noise.

In its planning application, consultants for Cairn Homes claimed the proposed development was “largely consistent” with all the relevant policies and planning objectives.

The developer claimed the proposed density was informed by the existing and emerging character of the area and the development would “result in consolidation and the creation of a sustainable and vibrant residential community”.

Seán McCárthaigh
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