An Bord Pleanala has given the green light for plans for a €190m build to rent scheme on lands formerly owned by a nuns’ order in Dundrum, south Dublin.
The appeals board has granted planning to Lioncor Developments in spite of recommendations by its own inspector and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to refuse planning permission as the scheme is on lands zoned as “Institutional Lands’ and didn’t provide sufficient open space to comply with that designation.
In 2019, it is understood that the Carmelite Order secured up to €35m when it sold eight acres of lands to Lioncor Developments at Dundrum.
The board inspector in the case, Lorraine Dockery described the 8.6 acre site as ‘an overgrown field’ with the site lying to the east and south of Gort Muire, Carmelite convent at Dundrum.
In her recommendation to refuse planning permission for the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) 'fast track' plan, Ms Dockery stated due to its excessive scale, massing, development footprint and lack of meaningful open space provision, the proposal fails to comply with the development plan to retain the open character of ‘Institutional Lands’.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council outlined seven separate grounds for refusal including a failure of the scheme application concerning the ‘Institutional land’ designation.
The appeals board also received 63 submissions from locals with many voicing concerns over the plan.
However, the appeals board gave the scheme the go-ahead after ordering the omission of two of the seven apartments blocks which reduces the number of apartments in the scheme from 628 to 446.
The board stated that the incorporation of the areas of the two omitted blocks into public open space would satisfy the requirement to retain the open character of the lands and would provide meaningful open space.
The board concluded that the proposal would constitute an acceptable quantum, mix of unit types and density of development in this accessible urban location.
The board also said that the proposal would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area and would be acceptable in terms of the open character of the lands as required under the ‘Institutional Lands’ designation.
The site located at the end of Wyckham Avenue, off Wyckham Way, is a 10-minute walk from Dundrum shopping centre.
Planning documents lodged with the application stated that the proposal “seeks to deliver a significant quantum of residential development at a zoned residential site that is located within an established suburban location within walking distance of a multitude of services, public transport options and amenities”.
The report said that “the proposed heights and resultant densities are considered to appropriately balance and bridge the conflicting requirements of providing sufficiently high density in this extremely accessible and sustainable site”.
Making a pitch to dog-lovers, consultants for Lioncor, Global Apartment Advisors (GAA), confirmed that there will be a suite of measures in place for dogs at the apartment complex.
These include a ‘dog wash’ which will be “a specific space that will be created for those pet owners who wish to wash their dogs outside their apartment”.
GAA also stated that a pet/dog run will be provided where “an open space will be provided for pets, mainly dogs, to exercise”.
As part of the plan, the developers are also planning to put in place a roof top gym on one of the blocks that according to GAA will provide gym users “inspiring panoramic views across the city” while a running track around the site will also be put in place.
The GAA document said: “The range of amenities being proposed at Marmalade Lane support two important considerations - firstly the promotion of ‘wellness’ through the encouragement of resident engagement and the formation of a community and secondly the promotion and support of resident ‘health’.”