Outrage at developer’s plans for 590 apartments at Cosgrave site

By Aideen O'Flaherty

RESIDENTS of Scholarstown Park in Knocklyon are “outraged” by a developer’s plans to build 480 build-to-let apartments and 110 build-to-sell apartments at the site of the former home of ex-Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave.

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.

Liam CosgraveDSC 2153 compressor

Residents protesting ouitside council offices

The plans, which were the subject of a site notice that was put up by Ardstone Homes Limited last month, are expected to be lodged with An Bord Pleanála through the fast-track Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme.

Members of the Scholarstown Park Residents’ Association have voiced their concerns about the proposed development, with residents’ association member Imelda Kelly telling The Echo: “Traffic is a major concern.

“They’re planning to put in almost 600 units, assuming there’s two people per unit and they have cars, that puts an extra 1,200 people into traffic in Scholarstown.

“The infrastructure for that development isn’t here – the schools in the area are already full to capacity.”

Ms Kelly added: “We’re outraged. They want to put in six-storey apartment blocks. The density of it is ridiculous. People are up in arms over it.

“Now, when I look out my window, I can see out past Cosgrave’s field right to the Hellfire Club in the Dublin Mountains. But they want to put two three-storey duplexes at the back of my house, all we’ll see out the window will be stone walls.”

An inspector from An Bord Pleanála visited the site last May, and in his report he stated that the height variations of the apartment blocks “provide an appropriate balance between the potential of the site and the surrounding environment, with the taller buildings in the middle of the site and along the main road and three-storey buildings backing on to the older housing around the edge.”

Ms Kelly said: “We have no objections to housing at that site – we knew that when Liam Cosgrave died the land would probably be developed – but not at that density.

“We expected that affordable houses would be built there, so our own children could move back into the area and raise our grandchildren here too. I’m losing sleep over it, all of the residents are.”

Ardstone Homes Limited lodged an application with An Bord Pleanála for planning permission for the Scholarstown Road development last month.

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.

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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