A residents’ association has strongly criticised a decision to grant planning permission for almost 100 apartments on the site of a former fruit and veg outlet in Beaumont.
Last summer, Dublin City Council refused permission for the build-to-rent development at a location known locally as the ‘Beaumont drive-in’.
There was considerable opposition to plans for 99 apartments in two blocks of up to six and eight storeys each, with a mix of one-bed, two-bed and three-bed units.
In its decision to refuse permission, Dublin City Council described the height, scale and massing of the proposed development as “excessive”.
It said the apartments would “significantly detract from the visual amenities of the area”, and would have an “overbearing” impact on a number of nearby homes.
The local authority also found that a significant number of the proposed rooms were “unsatisfactory in terms of average daylight factor”, and there was poor access to communal space from one of the apartment blocks.
However, following an appeal by the applicants, Urban Life Developments Ltd, An Bord Pleanála has overturned Dublin City Council’s refusal.
It attached a number of conditions to its permission, including a reduction in height of one of the blocks from eight to six storeys.
The appeals board believed that, with the exception of building height and apartment mix, the proposal would be compliant with the Dublin City Development Plan (2016-2022).
It said it considered the development to be of “strategic or national importance” in terms of Government policy to increase the delivery of housing, as set out in the ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ action plan.
Beaumont Residents’ Association said the decision to give the development the green light proved the planning system was “truly broken”.
In a statement posted on social media, it claimed the “overwhelming” wishes of local people and city councillors had been “completed ignored, trampled upon and crushed”.
Róisín Shortall TD (SD) described An Bord Pleanála’s ruling as “disappointing”.
“The result is yet another example of the Government's unsustainable and short-sighted planning policies,” she said.
“Experience has shown that build-to-rent developments yield lower quality housing at unaffordable prices, completely out of reach of ordinary workers.
“They are not the solution to our housing crisis. We need mixed-tenure developments that respect their surroundings and address local housing needs.”