Green light for Sandyford apartment scheme

Midsal Homes had faced local opposition to development

An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission to Midsal Homes for a contentious apartment scheme in the foothills of the Dublin mountains after cutting the number of units by 15 per cent.

In granting planning permission for the Strategic Housing Development (SHD), the appeals board has reduced the number of apartments from 137 to 116 “in the interests of residential and visual amenities”.

The omission of 21 apartments from the scheme goes beyond the recommendation of appeals board inspector Sarah Moran who recommended the number of apartments be reduced by eight.

The appeals board has reduced the scale of development after the plan encountered local opposition with 37 submissions, including ones lodged by the Concerned Residents of Coolkill and Sandyford Downs Residents.

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The appeals board also reduced the number of units after Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council recommended a refusal for the 137-unit scheme but stated that it would grant planning permission to a reduced scale scheme that successfully addressed the council’s concerns relating to residential density, separation distances, car parking standards and scale and massing.

The Dún Laoghaire registered Midsal Homes lodged the plans for Karuna and Glenina, Sandford Road, Dublin 18 and the appeals board inspectors’ report describes the site as a transitional location in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains on the urban fringe of Dublin and 350m southwest of Sandyford Village.

The initial plan was made up of four apartment blocks with two rising to six storeys in height.

The appeals board ordered that the two six-storey apartment blocks each be reduced by one storey.

Local objections said “the height, scale, massing and density of development are out of character with this sensitive transitional location, which is currently primarily characterised by two-storey residential development”.

Locals also contended that “there is a lack of capacity in local schools, GPs and other local services and amenities to cater for the development”.

An Taisce stated that the scale of the development at up to six storeys “is too great for this outer suburban area at the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. The development will be dominant and visually obtrusive”.

The appeals board inspector acknowledged that the proposed quantum of development is significantly higher than existing and approved developments in the vicinity.

Ms Moran said: “However, it is my view that the proposed scheme, which is located on zoned and serviced lands in an urban area, should be viewed in the changing context of the wider environs, which include high density developments at various locations in the southwestern fringe of Dublin.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times