Residents object to nursing home plans at Presentation Convent

By Maurice Garvey

PLANS for a nursing home at the historic Presentation Convent site in Clondalkin, have sparked a robust response in the community with up to 40 submissions, mostly objections, lodged with South Dublin County Council.

A major bone of contention for those objecting, is the claim that the online details for the plans - lodged on September 14 - were not added until October 10, just nine days before the closing date.

Convent. 04

Developers have lodged plans for a 155-bed nursing home at the Presentation Convent

Applicants Bartra Property Ltd are seeking permission to develop a 155-bed nursing home at the Convent Road site.

Opposition from residents and community groups cites the historic value of the convent and church (both protected structures), the scale and size of the proposed development, and potential impact to traffic on a congested bottle neck with two schools located on Convent Road and another three on New Road.

Clondalkin Historical Society submitted a detailed submission, including a historic outline of the grounds.

In 1855, Fr John Moore purchased a 12-acre site on New Road from the Caldweck family, who themselves initiated education of girls in the parish in 1809.

Fr Moore entrusted three acres to have a convent built, and the first nuns arrived from the Presentation Order in December 1857, with 210 kids registered the next day.

CHS say the convent and church is the only example of Gothic Revival style architecture in the local area.

'Totally out of character'

Resident groups fear the proposed four storey development will block the view of the convent and that the design is “totally out of character” with the convent.

Clondalkin Round Tower Heritage Group said the preservation of the old stone walls was of utmost importance and that the community has worked hard to promote Clondalkin as a heritage destination for both local people and tourists.

Labour Councillor Breeda Bonner, a past pupil of convent schools Scoil Mhuire, Scoil Ide and Coláiste Bríde, said she was “horrified” when first looking at the plans.

At the recent Clondalkin area meeting, Cllr Bonner asked SDCC to extend the closing date for submissions on the planning application, stating the maps were not available online at the beginning of October.

She also asked if maps detailing local planning applications could be displayed in the Clondalkin area office.

In response, SDCC said they have no discretion to extend the closing date for submissions on planning applications – which area specified by the Planning and Development Act.

They also said they are not in a position to display documents relating to particular planning applications in the Clondalkin office as this is not standard procedure and would contravene their obligation to ensure the planning process is fair and transparent.

SDCC are due to make a decision on the planning application by November 8.

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