Victory for Ross in bid to block houses
The construction of 46 new homes that had been opposed by Transport Minister Shane Ross will not go ahead after a decision by An Bord Pleanala.
The planning authority agreed with the minister that proposals for a five-storey complex on the site of the former Kiely's pub in Mount Merrion, south Dublin, would "seriously injure the visual amenity of the area".
It had been proposed that the site - owned partly by Paddy McKillen Jr - would be developed to include retail spaces, parking for 185 cars, a gym, a restaurant and other amenities.
Mr Ross was among 330 people who submitted objections to the development which comprised mostly two-bedroom apartments.
In his submission the minister argued that roads at the site are "not fit for current capacity" and that the area's "tranquillity would be completely upended during the construction".
"The size and style of this proposed development is completely out of character with the surrounding area," he wrote.
His views were echoed by several other local representatives, including Fine Gael councillor Barry Saul, who told the Irish Independent: "The decision by the board is a victory for sustainable planning in the area.
"Most people locally accept that apartments and small-scale retail will happen on this site. However, the core issue had been the quantum of retail they were looking for."
He said Mount Merrion was "a residential area and not a shopping destination".
In its ruling, An Bord Pleanala said that the development "by reason of scale, siting, layout, bulk and height, would not comprise an appropriate designed response and would relate poorly to its receiving environment, seriously detracting from the area in terms of visual amenity".
The board adds: "Furthermore, the quantum and form of retail raises concerns with regard to traffic generation."