Broadcaster, Pat Kenny has said he is “taken aback by the scale, bulk and size” of a five-storey 104-bedroom nursing home proposed for lands beside his Dalkey home in south Dublin.
The Newstalk presenter was commenting on plans by Richard Barrett’s Bartra Capital for the planned Yonder nursing home.
The application comes 18 months after Bartra secured the green light for 18 apartments and six houses on the 1.4 acre Yonder site.
Bartra only obtained planning permission from An Bord Pleanála after a planning battle with local residents, including Mr Kenny and his wife Cathy, over the apartment scheme.
The nursing home plan replaces the apartment plan proposal for the site.
Speaking today about the planned nursing home, Mr Kenny said: “I was surprised to see this new application and taken aback by the scale, bulk and size of such an enterprise in an in-fill site in a residential area.”
The proposed nursing home rises from two storeys to five storeys.
Mr Kenny said that at five storeys in places, the scheme is one storey higher than the original apartment plan proposal.
He said the planned development site is surrounded by 10 householders’ back gardens.
He added that what is planned “is effectively a commercial enterprise” and "the equivalent of dropping a 104-bedroom hospital" into a residential area.
Mr Kenny said he will now go through the application “with a fine-tooth comb”.
“I want to look at the detail of the application to see whether all the difficulties that were presented in the original apartment scheme application and see if there has been any attempt to resolve those,” he added.
The broadcaster said he is “certain” that he will be lodging a submission with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on the plan.
“The nature of that observation will depend on the nature of the application. There are so many issues with this plan.”
Documents lodged with the planning application contend the scheme will have a significantly reduced impact on the Kenny home and neighbouring properties than the permitted apartment scheme.
In the documents lodged by Thornton O’Connor Town Planning, Patricia Thornton states that unlike the permitted scheme, there is no development in the southern portion of the site and this significantly reduces the impact of the property on the surrounding dwellings at the southern end of the site.
She said the nursing home scheme has been sensitively designed to minimise the potential impact on the residential amenity of surrounding properties.
She said the scheme’s location close to Dalkey village and to the local Dart station will ensure that future residents have the opportunity to remain living within their community.
Ms Thornton also stated that future residents will be provided with appropriate medical care and support while also enjoying the benefit of existing social and community infrastructure in the village.
As part of her 55-page planning report lodged with the application, she contends that what is proposed represents a significant investment in an under-utilised infill site providing “a much needed nursing home facility for the area”.
She added that the principal objective of the application is to contribute towards reducing the shortage of residential care home beds.
A decision is due on the application in March and if Bartra is unsuccessful with the nursing home scheme it can still proceed with its apartment plan for the site.