System is ‘taking the p**s’ out of the planning process

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A COUNCILLOR has said that plans for a new development in Citywest, which have been submitted through An Bord Pleanala in a new system introduced by the government, is “taking the p**s” out of the work done by councillors and officials to develop the Local Area Development Plan (LAP).

The proposed extensive development, which is to be called Cooldown Commons, is to consist of 294 apartments and 123 houses, all to be located on a greenfield site between Fortunestown Lane and Citywest Business Park.

pg 6 Cooldown Commons SHD ACM Presentation 9

The developer, Cairn Homes Properties, has been able to bypass seeking planning permission from South Dublin County Council and has instead applied directly to An Bord Pleanala under the Strategic Housing Development scheme.

This scheme allows developers who are seeking permission to build housing developments consisting of more than 100 residential units to apply directly to ABP, in order to speed up the planning application process, leading to a quicker delivery of residential developments if the developer’s application is successful.

The Cooldown Commons application includes plans to build four- to six-storeys-high apartment blocks, and for the houses to be two- and three-storeys high.

Cathal King, Sinn Féin councillor for Tallaght South, told The Echo: “We went through an extremely lengthy process with stakeholders, developers and the community when we were developing the Local Area Development Plan.

“The developments surrounding [the subject site] show that we do not need six-storey apartment blocks.

“They’re taking advantage of the new scheme, and they’re taking the p**s out of the process.

“They’re completely ignoring the three-storey limit [that’s in the LAP].”

The developer lodged their plans for the development with An Bord Pleanala in late August under the Strategic Housing Development Scheme, which will be followed by a five-week observation period, an eight-week report period from the council, and a decision from ABP in week 16.

The developer had pre-planning meetings with South Dublin County Council and ABP in advance of the submission of their plans.

Cllr King said: “If this goes through it would completely undermine the whole [LAP] process.”

Cllr King added that, if the plans go ahead, they would represent “extreme overdevelopment” in the area, and that as housing estates are being built in lands near the subject site that there is an appetite for the development of houses, and not apartments, in the area.

“This is an over-the-top development, and does not fit into the area in any shape or form,” concluded Cllr King.

A decision on Cairn Homes Properties Ltd’s application for planning permission has not yet been made by An Bord Pleanala.

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