590 apartments approved for former Liam Cosgrave site

By Aideen O'Flaherty

PLANS for the construction of a 590-unit apartment development at the site of the former home of ex-Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave in Knocklyon have been given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála.

The contentious plans caused disquiet in the community, and residents of Scholarstown Park held a protest outside the offices of South Dublin County Council last December, voicing their concerns about the density of the development and the fast-track planning process for SHDs.

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Former Liam Cosgrave’s site on Scholarstown Road

The development will be divided into build-to-rent and build-to-sell units, however the majority of them will be build-to-let, totalling 480, while 110 will be build-to-sell.

The build-to-rent units are to be housed across eight apartment blocks, with each block being between four- and six-storeys high, while the build-to-sell units are to be housed in nine duplex blocks with a height of three-storeys.

Developer Ardstone Homes lodged the plans with ABP last November, and provision for the demolition of two houses on site, known as Maryfield and Beechpark, is included in their application.

Permission was granted for the development this week, with a number of conditions.

These conditions include the stipulation that the build-to-rent units are to be used for long-term rentals only, no additional development can take place above roof parapet level, and bat roosts are to be incorporated into the site.

The Scholarstown Road site was the subject of media attention in 2018 and 2019, as archaeological digs there uncovered an “early medieval enclosed settlement”, according to an archaeological assessment that was submitted to South Dublin County Council last April.

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An artist impression of the site

Human skeletal remains were found on the site in August 2018, and a total of 19 test trenches were excavated on site, which confirmed the presence of a ringfort-type enclosure – the skeletal remains were uncovered within the interior of the enclosure.

In a statement to The Echo when the archaeological digs were being carried out, Ardstone Homes stated: “As part of our assessment of the site we undertook an archaeological investigation under the direction of an independent archaeologist and some archaeological features were discovered on a small portion.”

They stated that the investigation and dig was being carried out by “an independent archaeologist under full agreement and licencing of The Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht (DCHG) and under direction of the National Monuments Service.”

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