Plans for a “gigantic” housing development on the site of a former shopping centre in Dundrum village are likely to meet with “hundreds” of objections, a community group has claimed.
Dundrum Retail, a subsidiary of UK property company Hammerson, has applied for permission to build 881 apartments through the fast-track Strategic Housing Development process.
The proposed development, laid out in 11 blocks across four zones, includes “a landmark” 16-storey building, retail units and a new pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Dundrum by-pass.
The company, which owns the Dundrum Town Centre, is seeking planning permission for an eight-year period to coincide with the construction programme.
It recently emerged that apartments sold to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council under the developer’s social housing obligations could cost up to €788,741 each.
The proposal is facing strong local opposition, with more than 500 attending a recent public meeting in Taney Parish Hall.
Councillor Anne Colgan (Ind), chairperson of the Imagine Dundrum community group, said there was “a sharp intake of breath” at the meeting when images of the proposed development were presented.
“People were really taken aback by the size and scale of it,” she said. “This development is gigantic in the context of being part of Dundrum village.
“There are mostly five-storey blocks proposed for Main Street, which will be very overbearing and will completely overwhelm the streetscape.”
Cllr Colgan said the site is supposed to have a mix of uses but the Dundrum Village SHD comprises 95pc housing.
“It should have all the things you’d need for a neighbourhood, like employment, offices and entertainment, as well as civic and community facilities and services,” she said.
“Not having a proper mix is a major flaw in the proposal and contravenes the county development plan.”
She also claimed the heritage value of old buildings being retained within Architectural Conservation Areas would be “diluted” and “swallowed up” by the scale of the development.
Cllr Colgan insisted Imagine Dundrum was “pro-development” and said its members were in favour of housing “on a reasonable scale” being built in the village.
“Nobody wants to see the old shopping centre left the way it is for another 15 years,” she said. “We want a living community with more open space and a plan that will fit in with current zoning.”
Cllr Colgan said she believes An Bord Pleanála will receive “hundreds” of submissions before next Monday’s deadline for observations.