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Anger as plans for 94 harbour homes green-lit despite inspector rejection

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Dalkey resident Pat Kenny

Dalkey resident Pat Kenny

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An Bord Pleanála has once more granted planning permission for a contentious high-profile development in Dalkey, Co Dublin, after dismissing a recommendation by its own inspector to refuse it.

Broadcaster and Dalkey resident Pat Kenny has already hit out against the practice by the appeals board after it last year gave the green light to an apartment complex beside his family home after over-ruling the recommendation of its own inspector to refuse planning permission.

This followed the appeals board giving the green light to a mixed-use development abutting Bulloch Harbour in Dalkey, where it again dismissed its own inspector's strong recommendation to refuse.

Mr Kenny was one of hundreds of locals to contribute financially to a High Court challenge against that decision with the board recently telling solicitors for a local residents' group that it is to concede the judicial review challenge.

Now, the board has granted planning permission to Winterbrook Homes (Dalkey) Ltd for 94 apartments at Charleville, Harbour Road, Dalkey, once more overruling the recommendation of its inspector to refuse permission.

The Dalkey Community Council and a number of locals had objected to the plan, raising concerns about its height and scale.

However, An Bord Pleanála has granted permission after ordering the omission of a floor in one of the blocks comprising 11 apartments, reducing the number to 94 in order to overcome "overlooking" concerns.

The inspector in the case recommended refusal as the development would seriously injure the amenities of two nearby homes because of overlooking and overbearing from one block of apartments.

Speaking on the general issue in an interview last week, Mr Kenny said: "All decisions, where the board has overruled its own inspectors must now be reviewed, and if necessary quashed."

He said the board's inspectors are the agency's "boots on the ground".

"The stress and aggravation caused to communities by decisions which overrule the advice of the board's own inspectors, cannot be overstated."

In the Winterbrook planning application, the appeals board granted permission after finding it "represents an appropriate balance between the provision of higher residential densities and the protection of existing amenities and the established character of the area".

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