Business Irish

Sunday 25 February 2018

Planners overrule advice and block Roche apartments

Tom Roche, chairman of NTR, whose family bought D4 property
Tom Roche, chairman of NTR, whose family bought D4 property
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The Roche family behind NTR has been refused permission by An Bord Pleanála for a small, upmarket apartment development in Dublin's Ballsbridge after objections by An Taisce and local residents.

The refusal was made despite An Bord Pleanála's own inspector recommending that the project be given the go-ahead with conditions attached.

The Roches acquired a derelict cottage on Percy Place in Dublin 4 last year for €1.7m from Waterways Ireland. They bought the site through a vehicle called Praiano Ventures.

Last September, Dublin City Council granted planning permission for the development of nine apartments in a five-storey block, subject to a number of conditions.

But that decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála by a number of bodies including the Pembroke Road Association. The association wasn't opposed to the development in itself, but did have concerns about particular elements of it.

A resident of an apartment block that adjoins the site, Nicola Keogh, claimed the planned building would be "overwhelming, would be oppressive, break the building line and rhythm of the terrace".

An Taisce claimed the planned development by the Roche company was of "poor quality, excessive scale and inappropriate design [and] would have serious adverse impact on the prominent historic setting of the Grand Canal adjacent to protected structures of importance".

Planners for Praiano Ventures argued with An Bord Pleanála that the proposed development was "not pastiche".

"It is a fitting and scaled, contemporary and complimentary infill in form, introduces a modern flavour and identity that links the buildings to the west with those to the east," they said.

The An Bord Pleanála inspector said concerns regarding the development and some deficiencies could be overcome if conditions were attached to planning. "It is recommended that the appeals be rejected and that the planning authority decision to grant permission be upheld with inclusion of conditions with requirements for some modification," said the inspector.

But the An Bord Pleanála board disagreed, saying that the proposed development "would adversely impact on views from a number of important nearby vantage points".

"The board considered that the modifications recommended by the inspector were too substantial an intervention in the overall design of the proposed scheme and, in any event, did not fully address the concerns of the board," it noted.

Irish Independent

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