Tuesday 27 September 2016

Ross fighting plans to build 108 homes in his constituency

Published 26/07/2016 | 02:30

Minister Shane Ross and Independent councillor Deirdre Donnelly give the thumbs down to the proposed site adjacent to the grounds of Oatlands College and Primary School
Minister Shane Ross and Independent councillor Deirdre Donnelly give the thumbs down to the proposed site adjacent to the grounds of Oatlands College and Primary School

Transport Minister Shane Ross has helped block the construction of 45 new homes in south Dublin and is expected to object to another 63 in the coming days.

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The minister is "very pleased" that Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council turned down an application for a five-story complex on the site of the former Kiely's pub in Mount Merrion.

It had been proposed that the site - owned partly by Paddy McKillen Jr - would be developed to include retail spaces, parking for 185 cars, a gym, a restaurant and other amenities.

However, Mr Ross was among over 330 people who submitted objections to 46 residential units, which were mostly two-bedroom apartments.

The Dublin Rathdown TD's office also confirmed to the Irish Independent that he is studying the details of a separate proposed development near Oatlands College in Mount Merrion.

The application seeks approval for nine houses, 24 duplexes and 30 apartments as well as a children's play area.

A spokesperson for the minister said that he was reviewing the plans and was "expected" to lodge an official complaint before the deadline of August 2.

It comes after Mr Ross's Independent Alliance complained that they were excluded from the launch of the Government's housing action plan last week.

His office said the minister was "listening to local residents and their concerns" and was working closely with independent Stillorgan councillor Deirdre Donnelly on the issue.

Ms Donnelly told the Irish Independent that existing residents had a "huge problem" with the proposals by Balark Investments, a company associated with developer Greg Kavanagh.

The site is in a land-locked space adjacent to the grounds of Oatlands College and Primary School, but the application includes a request for permission to demolish a house at Cherrygarth in order to provide access. The Property Price Register shows that the house was bought for €3.75m in January.

"The fact that a developer can purchase a land-locked area and gain entrance by demolishing a perfectly good house in a cul-de-sac is absolutely outrageous," Ms Donnelly said.

She said Mount Merrion had been plagued by high-density planning applications and the Oatlands proposal was "taking things too far".

Among her concerns are apartments overlooking the school and "extra traffic in a quiet residential area".

She said that large greenfield sites such as Cherrywood where thousands of homes are planned are "the way to go".

In his submission on the Kiely's site, known as Union Café, Mr Ross warned it would be "negligent" to bring extra traffic into a "very quiet and peaceful suburb".

"The size and style of this proposed development is completely out of character with the surrounding area," he wrote.

Fine Gael TD Josepha Madigan and the Green Party's Catherine Martin also objected to this development.

Irish Independent

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