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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 9 April, 2020

Permission granted for 657 new homes beside Dublin park despite strong local opposition

An Bord Pleanála granted permission for the development despite opposition from hundreds of locals.

The site of the proposed development
The site of the proposed development

CONTROVERSIAL PLANS TO build more than 650 new homes at St Anne’s Park in north Dublin have been given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála.

The planning authority has granted Crekav Trading, a subsidiary of developer Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group, five-year planning permission to build 657 apartments and a creche on grounds formerly used as sports pitches at Sybil Hill Road in Raheny.

The company previously sought to obtain planning permission to build 104 houses and 432 apartments at the site, but that plan was rejected by the board in 2018 after a High Court case taken by Clonres CLG, a group representing local residents.

However, the fresh application was granted by An Bord Pleanála under the Government’s fast-track planning rules.

The development comprises 378 two-bed apartments, 224 one-bed units and 55 three-bed units across nine apartment blocks ranging in height from five to nine storeys.

66 units will be earmarked for social housing, while the development will also contain a basement cinema, a gym, office space and meeting rooms.

The decision was made despite hundreds of submissions from local residents, sports clubs, and councillors, as well as community groups, An Taisce, Birdwatch Ireland, and TDs Aodhán Ó Riordáin, Finian McGrath, Sean Haughey, and Tommy Broughan.

Objectors claimed that the scale and density of the proposal was out of character with the park, and that several sports clubs would lose their grounds and that there would be a negative impact on local wildlife populations if permission was granted.

In its own submission, Dublin City Council also claimed that the proposal would cause traffic congestion, that the loss of playing pitches would have a significant impact on the local community and that there would be a negative impact on the local biosphere.

However, those objections did not prevent An Bord Pleanála granting planing permission.

The board concluded that the development would not negatively impact any wildlife habitats, and that it would be well-served by public transport to prevent an adverse impact on traffic.

It also noted that the adjoining St Anne’s Park provided open space for local residents, and that the project fell within its developmental guidelines.

In granting permission, the board said that the development should be constructed within five years and that details of its community uses should be communicated to locals before building commenced.

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