Tuesday 20 November 2018

Pat Kenny lodges 16-page objection to 'ill-thought' apartment block plan next to Dalkey home

Pat and Kathy Kenny
Pat and Kathy Kenny

Gordon Deegan

One of Ireland’s best known broadcasters, Newstalk's Pat Kenny and his wife, Kathy are opposing plans for three apartment blocks and seven houses on a site adjacent to their Dalkey home.

In August, property firm, Bartra Capital Property - founded by developer, Richard Barrett - paid €3.1m for the Maple Tree House site adjacent to the Kennys' home and also paid for an additional 0.51 acre site to allow the planning application to be lodged last month.

The application consists of 19 apartments in three blocks ranging up to four storeys along with five three bedroomed homes and two semi-detached homes on the 1.4 acre site.

Architects for the scheme said that great care has been taken to protect privacy between the proposed units and out from the site to the existing houses.

However, the Bartra plan is meeting with stiff local opposition with 11 other objections lodged by locals in addition to the Kenny objection.

The comprehensive Kenny objection runs to 16 pages and is signed by Pat Kenny and Kathy Kenny.

The Kenny objection - carried out to a high professional standard and appears to have been drawn up by the Kennys themselves - points out that their home, The Anchorage abuts the subject site.

The objection states: “In my opinion, the proposed development by the applicant is not in compliance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area."

The objection states that if permitted the development "would detrimentally impact on The Anchorage" and other residential properties in the area.

The objection adds: “It would also set a precedent that could ultimately seriously damage the character of the area.”

The Kennys state that the proposed development would materially contravene the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council Development Plan’s policies and objectives for the subject site “and would have a detrimental impact on its character”.

They state that planning permission should be refused as “this development is ill-thought and appears based on the quest for density alone with scant other consideration”.

The Kennys state: “We have no desire to object to every development proposal, but we seek only to have appropriate development in terms of scale and function."

They go on to state: “At the outset, Ireland is undergoing a housing crisis. Therefore, it is incumbent to realise the development potential of serviced-residentially zone land.

“However, as outlined clearly in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Development Plan, any densification of brownfield lands must be balanced with respect for the receiving environment of established residential properties.

“With that principle in mind, the crux of the issue in considering the proposed development is that the suitability of the site in principle and the ability of the receiving environment to absorb the proposal are two very different considerations.”

The Kennys are opposing the plan on a number of grounds - density, scale and massing, design, traffic impact, impact on trees and habitat and residential amenity.

The Kennys state that the development will result in gross overlooking along with loss of light and loss of privacy of The Anchorage.

They state that “the Duplex apartments at the end of the site overlook The Anchorage and any roof terrace or window would be less than 15 metres from our daughter’s bedroom window and 19 metres from our bedroom window”.

They point out that the ground level of The Anchorage is 3.5 metres below the ground level of the Duplex Apartment block G&H.

They state: “On our outdoor dining patio, we would be facing a construction with a roof line some 11 metres above us, denying us light and privacy.

The Kennys state that the loss of light on their property that would result from the proposal “would be disastrous”.

The Kennys have suggested to the Council a range of reasons to refuse planning to the development.

They include that the proposed development by itself or the precedent it would set, would adversely affect the use of the shared access lane from Harbour Rd.

Another reason for refusal put forward by the Kennys is that the proposal by reason of its scale, height and design would have an overbearing visual impact and be seriously injurious to the setting, amenity and appreciation of neighbouring properties.

The Kenny objection has also put forward another reason for refusal that the proposal, which would result in the removal of numerous trees, would be seriously injurious to the amenities of the area and depreciate the value of property in the vicinity.

The Kennys have also attached 19 photographs relating to their concerns over the development.

Consultants for Bartra Capital Property have told the Council that the seven houses are modest in size for the area and are either terraced or semi-detached.

The consultants state that the 19 apartments are generous in size and will provide an attractive and sustainable alternative for many residents in the area particularly ‘empty nesters’ wishing to downsize from the larger family homes but wanting to remain in the area.

The consultants have also told the Council that the development will see an increase to density of around 42/43 units per hectare “which will deliver a more sustainable return on zoned, serviced and accessible land within an established suburban location”.

The applicants' consultants state that arising from a pre-planning meeting the principle of a residential infill development would be acceptable to the Council and that a high quality and appropriately scaled new development would add to the area.

They state that in terms of density, the proposed 42/43 units per hectare was acceptable by the Council planners as was the mix of units.

The consultants state that the proposal has been reduced to 26 units arising from concerns raised by planners at the pre-planning meeting.

The consultants state that the development will not have an adverse impact on residential amenities or views from the wider area and has an attractive design.

A decision is due on the application before the end of this month.

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