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Plan to develop Carmelite site

Application is made to An Bord Pleanála for construction of 243 residential units on former Carmelite monastery in Delgany


An artist’s impression of part of the planned development in Delgany

An artist’s impression of part of the planned development in Delgany

An artist’s impression of part of the planned development in Delgany


A developer has applied to An Bord Pleanála for permission to build on the lands of the former Carmelite monastery in Delgany.

Drumakill LTD is seeking permission for the construction of 232 residential units.

The church must be reserved for community use, as per a condition of sale by the Carmelite Order, which was there for 160 years.

Under the strategic housing development system, plans for residential developments of over 100 units go directly to An Bord Pleanála rather than to the local authority.

The developer plans to build on lands of around 6.2 hectares located between Convent Road and Bellevue Hill.

The former Carmelite monastery in the village is a protected structure and would be a community/cultural facility and creche under the plans.

The planned development would include 96 houses, consisting of 32 two-bed, 44 three-bed and 20 four-bed. They would be a mix of detached, semi-detached, terraced, two-storey and bungalows.

136 apartments are included in the plans - 28 one-bed, 82 two-bed and 26 three-bed, within two four-storey blocks and five three-storey duplex blocks.

There would be a new vehicular entrance from Bellevue Hill Road to the west of the site and new vehicular access from Convent Road to the east, as well as pedestrian and cycle connections to the north, south east and south west.

The applicant is also seeking the change the use of the gate lodge to a management office, and to extend the rear of the protected structure.

They wish to demolish a modern extension to the protected structure, as well as a bungalow and out-buildings.

The development also includes site clearance, landscaped private, communal and public open space, removal of walls, new boundary treatments, 420 parking spaces, ESB substation/switchroom, lighting, play areas, and 364 cycle spaces.

Delgany Community Council said in a statement that it wants to engage with the developer in a positive and collaborative way to allay some concerns that have been raised. In documents included with their application, the developers have included a map of Delgany Heritage Trail and suggest a one-way traffic system in the village. 'Following feedback from local businesses, DCC does not currently support the introduction of a one-way system.'

'The site is effectively a village centre site,' even if it is not zoned as such,' they said. 'The applicant states quite clearly that the proposed density would be "a material contravention" of the local area plan,' said DCC. 'It will now be a matter for An Bord Pleanála to decide whether the applicant's proposal is at an appropriate density for this particular site.' They said that there are some good aspects to the design, such as green spaces, and that the proposed new apartments and houses will increase vibrancy, as the residents will be able to step outside their door and walk straight to the village.

'Most importantly, it also appears that the former owners have stipulated that the old convent chapel building should be made available to community use, to be kept as a community hall and childcare facility, and managed by trustees. For that we thank the Carmelites, and we acknowledge that it would be legally quite complicated to arrange this,' said the council.

The developer has committed to provide funding for the community centre, but only for the first three years. Wicklow County Council has indicated that it will have no role in managing it. Delgany Community Council will be seeking further clarification on how the developer intends that this obligation will be fulfilled long term. DCC wishes to see the future of the heritage chapel building secured for public use, as well as additional open space which could be used by the general public, with a larger children's playground, and some other measures including exterior parking. 'DCC is in the process of formulating its formal submission, which has not yet been finalised. We would encourage locals to contact us with their feedback and also to make their own submission. We have a once off opportunity now in Delgany to get the best that we can from this development.'