Broadcaster Pat Kenny is facing a fresh hurdle in his bid to prevent a five-storey nursing home being built on a site beside his Dalkey home.
This follows property developer Bartra Capital lodging an appeal to An Bord Pleanala against Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the 104-bedroom nursing-home for 'Yonder', Ulverton Road in Dalkey earlier this month.
Mr Kenny and his wife Kathy, along with objectors from over 30 other Dalkey households, voiced their opposition to the scheme.
In the aftermath of the decision, Mr Kenny said: “Common sense has prevailed and all of the neighbourhood welcome the council's wise decision.”
However, Bartra is now urging An Bord Pleanala to overturn the council’s decision.
Planning consultant for Bartra, Patricia Thornton of Thornton O’Connor Town Planning, has told the appeals board that the proposal “will have no material impact on neighbouring residential amenity having regard to the design mitigation measures proposed”.
Ms Thornton argues that the scheme therefore “cannot be considered to be overbearing, over-scaled or to cause material overlooking”.
She said the proposal “has been designed to fully accord with national planning policy, which seeks the densification of suburban, infill, brownfield sites close to high quality public transport with both the National Planning Framework and the urban height guidelines stating that we need to be building upwards rather than outwards”.
She added that a “part two to part five-storey development...cannot be considered challenging in this urban context”.
Ms Thornton pointed out that a Bartra apartment scheme granted planning permission for the site has four storeys “and the extra level is proposed without any material impact onto neighbouring properties”.
In the four page appeal, she said the scheme proposed “is the highest quality design which will provide an attractive insertion into the landscape and will provide a key facility for the community”.
Significant planting has been provided along the northern and western boundaries to mitigate any overlooking or overbearing to the gardens of adjoining properties”.
In its refusal to grant planning permission for the nursing home, the council said the proposed development would depreciate the value of property in the vicinity, and if permitted, set an undesirable precedent for similar development in the area.
It also ruled that due to the massing, scale and design of the proposal, it would adversely impact on the residential amenity of adjacent properties due to overlooking and its overbearing appearance.
It also determined that the scheme would detract from the existing visual and residential amenities of the area.
The council’s grounds for refusal echoed many of the grounds of objection made by the Kennys in their objection.
In their objection, the couple said: “As in the pantomime, we suggest that the developers are attempting to stuff an 'Ugly Sister’s foot’ into Cinderella’s delicate slipper.”
The Kennys said that if the nursing home is permitted, it “would detrimentally impact” on their home, ‘The Anchorage’, which adjoins the site to the south east.
They argued the proposal “would also set a precedent that could ultimately seriously damage the character of the area”.
In terms of the scale and massing of the proposal, the Kennys stated that “this proposal inserts a monolithic concrete structure effectively in the middle of back gardens of current residents adjoining the site”.
The Kennys also argued that the development proposed would utterly change the character of the neighbourhood, by inserting what is effectively a large commercially driven five-storey project into a two-storey domestic housing environment.
However, Richard Barrett’s Bartra Capital will take comfort from An Bord Pleanala giving the green light for 18 apartments and six houses on the same 1.4 acre site in July 2019 after the council had also refused planning permission on comprehensive grounds in November 2018.
The Kennys and local residents had also opposed that scheme.