Wednesday 27 February 2008

Council rejects controversial apartments for Sandymount

A CONTROVERSIAL four-storey social and affordable development in the south Dublin village of Sandymount has been rejected by Dublin City Council.

The council ruled that the 15-unit apartment block was a traffic hazard and would endanger public safety.

The application for the scheme at the rear of the Winfield car showrooms on Church Avenue was lodged by developer Seán Dunne.

Mr Dunne is awaiting planning permission for a mixed-use development with a 37-storey tower at the Jurys/Berkeley Court site in nearby Ballsbridge.

Mr Dunne had undertaken to provide up to 80 social and affordable homes within the Dublin southeast region depending on the number of apartments that would be eventually approved for the hotel sites.

The planning application sought permission for his first scheme of social and affordable homes on the site of a vacant, detached bungalow and a former community hall.

Objections to the development were lodged by deputies Lucinda Creighton (Fine Gael) and Chris Andrews (Fianna Fáil) and councillors John Kenny (Progressive Democrats) and Paddy McCartan (Fine Gael).

The Sandyford and Merrion Residents' Association also opposed the scheme.

Dublin City Council planners said the development, which contained 12 two-bedroom apartments, one three-bedroom unit and two one-bedroom homes, would be a traffic hazard.

Its entrance on to "a heavily trafficked road" with a one-way access ramp could conflict with pedestrian movements.

It also said the development did not contain sufficient private open space for residents.

It would result in sub-standard residential amenities for occupiers of the scheme, the council said, and would breach the standards of the city development plan.

Ms Creighton yesterday welcomed the council's decision.

"I had objected to Seán Dunne's application on the grounds that it would have a detrimental effect on traffic and pedestrians in the area.

"I am delighted to see that Dublin City Council has agreed with me and with the local residents who opposed this development."

Ms Creighton said objectors had been portrayed as being against affordable housing, though Mr Dunne had still not come to any agreement with the council regarding his obligations under Part V for the Ballsbridge site.

"Nowhere in this application was there any indication that it was anything other than another business venture for the applicant," she said.

A spokesman for Mr Dunne's company Mountbrook said it was committed to providing 100 per cent of the Church Avenue site to the city as part of the Jurys/Berkeley Court scheme.

"We will review the reasons for the refusal, and will meet with planners in Dublin City Council to fully understand the reasons outlined," he said.

"We will then review our position."

The Irish Times

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