Friday 18 August 2017

Transport Minister Shane Ross hits out at planning approval for 63 homes in his constituency

Shane Ross pictured alongside his constituency colleague Deirdre Donnelly at the gate of the site
Shane Ross pictured alongside his constituency colleague Deirdre Donnelly at the gate of the site
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Transport Minister Shane Ross has hit out at the planning authority’s decision to grant planning permission for 63 homes in his constituency.

This week An Bord Pleanala granted permission to Balark Investments for the homes, which will now be built on the site of an old south Dublin monastery.

The company, of which developer Greg Kavanagh is a director, lodged permission to build on the Oatlands Monastery site in Mount Merrion.

Locals strongly objected to the plans – objections which were mirrored by Mr Ross.

He argued the development would put undue pressure on local services and added that part of the site was designated to protect trees in the area.

In a statement following the decision, issued alongside a picture of the minister giving the site a “thumbs down” he said his objections still stand.

“Housing is not just about bricks and mortar. It’s also about infrastructure; schools, roads, sewage, preventions against flooding, healthcare, social amenities - consideration of all the above contributes to a decent quality of life for communities,” he said.

“This is why, although I very much recognise the ever pressing need for increasing the number of available housing units in Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown and the greater Dublin region as a whole, I do not support the development of 63 residential units on the Oatlands Monastery site,” he said.

“Last October I objected to this proposal on grounds of preservation of local heritage, school and medical services provisions, density and height concerns. These objections still stand,” he added.

Balark applied for permission to level the large 2,000 sq m building to the rear of Oatlands College, a Christian Brother school that's been on the go in Mount Merrion since 1956.

Its past pupils include 'Father Ted' star, the late Dermot Morgan and Fianna Fáil TD Eamon O'Cuiv.

The plans include nine houses, 24 duplex units, and 30 apartments in two blocks.

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