CONTROVERSIAL plans to build over 800 homes on Dun Laoghaire Golf Club have been approved.
Yesterday the local council gave the go-ahead to Cosgrave Developments to build 856 residential units subject to 64 conditions, despite objections from almost 450 local people.
But the decision will be referred to An Bord Pleanala, and the Combined Residents to Save Open Spaces (CRSOS) group has pledged to seek a judicial review of the decision if its appeal is unsuccessful.
Chairman Gene Feighery described the decision as "appalling", saying there wasn't enough open space in the development and that a town the size of Fermoy was being 'parachuted' into the south Dublin suburb.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council confirmed yesterday that just eight houses were omitted from the development, and that 438 parties had objected.
Cosgrave Developments acquired the 78-acre site in a deal which saw the golf club relocate to Ballyman, near Enniskerry. The club was paid a reported €20m to relocate, and the deal also included a 27-hole course and new clubhouse.
But the move has infuriated some locals, who believe the course should have been retained as a green belt for Dun Laoghaire. Cosgrave Developments plan to build over 1,700 new homes in total, and the permission granted is for the first phase of development.
The plans include provision of a supermarket, seven shops, cafe/restaurant and offices. The developers will have to upgrade the local road network, and plan on building a lake in the middle of the development.
Two pieces of public art will also be included in the scheme, and the developers will be obliged to pay almost €14m to the local council to cover the cost of providing water, parks and upgrading the Sallynoggin/Glenageary roundabout.
Last June, local councillors instructed Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to prepare a local area plan for the site, but council management said the planning application could not be deferred until the local area plan was in place as the company was entitled to have its application considered within a statutory time limit.
Chairman of the CRSOS, Gene Feighery, said Cosgrave Developments had "split" the project into two halves, which was not allowed.
"I'm appalled," she said. "It's a disaster for Dun Laoghaire. The level of density is too much, and there are major traffic and safety implications. We see this as project splitting and the council linked the two phases of development by inquiring about public transport links and access to Dun Laoghaire village.
Cosgrave Developments were not available for comment.