Friday 18 January 2019

Cotter in fresh fast-track bid for 927 Dublin homes

The latest phase of housing of Michael Cotter’s Clay Farm development in Leopardstown, south Dublin
The latest phase of housing of Michael Cotter’s Clay Farm development in Leopardstown, south Dublin
Developer Michael Cotter
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Developer Michael Cotter's Viscount Securities has renewed its bid to build over 900 new homes at Clay Farm in Leopardstown, following the rejection by An Bord Pleanala of the company's initial plans for the site last January.

An examination of recent applications to the authority shows that Viscount has submitted a pre-application proposal, seeking a 10-year permission for the development of 927 units comprising 355 houses and 572 apartments on the south Dublin site.

The application, which has been submitted under the terms of the Government's temporary 'fast-track' planning system, also includes the proposed delivery of a childcare facility and 1,458 car parking spaces.

Viscount's original application for the Clay Farm lands was turned down by An Bord Pleanala two months ago on the grounds that the developer didn't provide sufficient information in relation to the management of storm water in the area, which is prone to flooding. The decision to refuse permission for the development was decided by a casting vote from the board's chairperson.

While An Bord Pleanala said it had considered whether a partial grant or split decision would allow the development to proceed on a phased basis, this option was precluded on the basis that "considerable uncertainties regarding the issue of drainage across the entire site remained".

The board also said in its ruling that it agreed with concerns expressed by its inspector that the proposed scheme provided inadequate public open space for the housing units.

Viscount Securities' original application for the Clay Farm site was the first proposal submitted under the 'fast track' planning system, after it was signed into law by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy in June of last year.

Under the scheme, developers seeking permission for strategic housing developments (SHDs) of 100 units or more are no longer required to apply to their respective local authorities in the first instance, but can instead apply directly to An Bord Pleanala.

With ordinary planning applications for large housing developments to local authorities typically appealed to An Bord Pleanala, ultimate approval can, in certain circumstances, take up to 18 months to secure. The fast-track planning regulation sees the period for such determinations reduced to a maximum of six months.

The system's efficiency was illustrated only last Thursday with developer Pat Crean's Marlet Property Group securing planning permission for 420 homes on the site of CIE's former lands on Carnlough Road in Dublin's Cabra area. An Bord Pleanala completed its deliberations and issued its decision on Marlet's application in just 14 weeks.

The Cabra development forms just one element within Marlet's 'Dublin Living' scheme - Ireland's largest ever Private Rented Sector (PRS) public offering comprising 1,170 units across the capital on sites which it owns in conjunction with its finance partner, the international asset manager, M&G Investments. The 'Dublin Living' portfolio also includes sites at Mount Argus and St Clare's in Harold's Cross and at Bluebell.

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