A fresh application has been made for a development of 219 residential units at Kilgarron Hill in Enniskerry.
The deadline for submissions to An Bord Pleanála is Monday, June 29. A number of residents of the area are objecting to the proposal, as they did before, on a number of grounds. They said in a statement that Knocksink Wood, a special area of conservation, is 'under sustained threat by developers seeking to build high density housing on its doorstep'.
Knocksink was listed as an SAC because of the presence of three natural habitat types: petrifying springs; alluvial forests and old sessile oak woodlands. 'The special conservation status of Knocksink under the EU Habitats directive, which has been implemented into Irish law,means that planning permission should not be granted to any development which could adversely affect the SAC.
However, there is a real risk that the developer, who was previously refused permission, may succeed this time. This is because it has already had pre-application consultations with An Bord Pleanala (behind closed doors) and was given the go-ahead to make this application,' said the residents' body in their statement.
Their concerns include the altering of groundwater systems feeding the petrifying streams, increased human activities at Knocksink, potential fly-tipping of garden waste from housing, the natural heritage character of Enniskerry, and set a precedent for the granting of further large scale developments.
The development proposed by Capami Limited consists of 135 houses, 84 apartments and a childcare facility.
Last July, the bord refused permission for 218 units at the site, the application having been made by the same developer.
A total of 22 submissions were made with regard to that proposal, including a joint submission by many residents of Parknasillogue Court. On that occasion, the inspector's report recommended refusal in order to protect Knocksink Woods, a special area of conservation.
According to the report, the natural hydro-geology within the subject lands could potentially be altered, which could result in adverse impacts on Knocksink Wood. A fresh pre-application was made in December, with further information sought, this latest application was made on May 22. The applicant produced reports on the hydro-geological issues, as well as a material contravention justification of higher densities, and said that the development would not adversely effect the integrity of the Knocksink site.
They also said that 'the proposal is strategic in nature and the linking of the delivery of residential units to other uses, particularly employment uses should not delay the delivery of residential units to meet the shortfall and demands for housing identified in Rebuilding Ireland'.
They said that 'the subject site is a natural extension of Enniskerry with residential development in the vicinity including Parknasillogue Court. The site is zoned for development and is in accordance with the National Planning Framework'.