Developer Gannon gets go-ahead for €60m housing development
An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to developer Gerry Gannon for a €60m housing development at Belcamp on the Malahide Road in north Dublin.
The permission will allow Gannon Properties Ltd to construct 165 homes, a café and childcare facility on lands at Belcamp Hall.
The Gannon firm has sought permission for 263 residential units but the number to get the go-ahead was cut by the council and now An Bord Pleanála.
The plan represents Mr Gannon's largest foray in the house construction market since he recommenced building after the housing crash. He paid €105m for 200 acres at Belcamp in 2004 and the site being developed is 37 acres of the overall holding.
Belcamp House is an 18th Century Georgian building that served as a boarding school and seminary and boasts an Oval Room modelled on the US presidential office.
Planning documentation lodged by Mr Gannon's company stated that the Belcamp complex - which is a protected structure - has been severely vandalised and burnt in parts despite extensive security, adding that round-the-clock security is not sustainable into the future.
The Bord Pleanála planner in the case recommended that planning be granted after concluding that the development "would not comprise premature or piecemeal development, give rise to a significant risk of flooding or detract from the residential amenity of the area, would provide an appropriate quantum, mix and design of development and would provide for the rehabilitation and preservation of Belcamp House".
In the 76-page report, the planner also said she did not consider the quantum of development proposed unwarranted.
She had regard to the particular vulnerability of the protected structures on the appeal site and the detailed design of the development in giving the plan the go-ahead.
The planner also accepted that there is an urgency to bring forward development in respect of the site to safeguard the structures on site and to bring about their restoration.
In its appeal, the Irish Georgian Society (IGS) said Belcamp is the only landscape in Ireland with an authentic connection to the American Revolution.
The IGS stated that the proposed development has the potential to result in a significant negative impact on the architectural heritage of Belcamp.
The IGS also argued that the Belcamp landscape is of considerable historical significance to the US and of wide international significance to many European and American cultures.