Tuesday 20 August 2019

'I've lost faith in An Bord Pleanála,' says Pat Kenny after plan for development beside his house gets the go-ahead

Pat and Kathy Kenny and an artist's impression of how the development beside their home will look as seen from their garden.
Pat and Kathy Kenny and an artist's impression of how the development beside their home will look as seen from their garden.
Led local opposition: Kathy and Pat Kenny objected to the building of flats and houses near their own home, but An Bord Pleanála granted the developers permission. Photo: Brian McEvoy
The view looking west from Pat and Kathy Kennys' house at the moment. From the submission to An Bord Pleanála.
The view looking west from Pat and Kathy Kennys' house once the development goes in. From the submission to An Bord Pleanála.
View looking south west from the Kennys garden. From the submission to An Bord Pleanála.
View looking south west from the Kenny's garden after the adjoining development is built. From the submission to An Bord Pleanála.

Gordon Deegan

Broadcaster Pat Kenny said he has lost confidence in An Bord Pleanála to properly adjudicate on planning applications.

Mr Kenny said he had lost faith in the board even before it gave planning permission to Bartra Capital for an apartment block and six houses beside his home in Dalkey, Co Dublin, this week.

“After An Bord Pleanála recently gave planning permission to Bartra for its plans for Bulloch Harbour I said ‘What hope do we have?’ I thought that decision was crazy and beggared belief,” said Mr Kenny. The broadcaster also released images from his appeal to the board showing how he said the development would impact upon his house.

Mr Kenny said that, in common with the appeal against permission to build apartments beside his home, the board also overruled its inspector’s report over the Bulloch Harbour mixed-use scheme.

READ MORE: Pat Kenny loses battle against housing development beside family home in Dalkey

He asked if inspectors were “only there for window dressing” when the board “continues to ignore” their reports.

“The inspectors are the board’s ‘boots on the ground’ and are employed in intelligence gathering, so I am wondering if the board is fit for purpose when it continues to ignore its own inspectors? Are they only there for window dressing?”

Kenny1a.jpg
The view looking west from Pat and Kathy Kennys' house at the moment. From the submission to An Bord Pleanála.
Kenny1b.jpg
The view looking west from Pat and Kathy Kennys' house once the development goes in. From the submission to An Bord Pleanála.

Mr Kenny said the appeals board “has completely flipped” in its role.

“My sense was that before An Bord Pleanála was there to stop the excesses of over-zealous councils in granting planning permission, but now it seems it is the board granting planning where councils refused and it is failing in its duty to safeguard the built environment.”

He said he was “disappointed but not surprised” at the board’s ruling on the development beside his home.

“It is no more baffling than the Bulloch Harbour decision. There are so many things wrong with the plan,” said the Newstalk presenter.

In the decision for the site beside Mr Kenny’s home, the appeals board granted Richard Barrett’s Bartra Capital Property permission for 18 apartments along with six houses for the 1.4-acre site. Bartra had originally lodged plans for 19 apartments and seven houses.

Kenny2a.jpg
View looking south west from the Kennys garden. From the submission to An Bord Pleanála.
Kenny2b.jpg
View looking south west from the Kenny's garden after the adjoining development is built. From the submission to An Bord Pleanála.

The board inspector concluded that the proposed development should be refused, ruling that it would have an overbearing impact, be visually obtrusive and overlook and seriously injure the residential amenities of the adjoining properties.

However, he was overruled by a three-person board which said it was satisfied that the development would be in accordance with the zoning objective for the site, be consistent with national and local planning policy and not seriously injure residential amenities in terms of overlooking or overbearing.

A spokesman for An Bord Pleanála declined to comment on Mr Kenny’s remarks.

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