A south Dublin community group is “cautiously optimistic” that plans for high-rise apartments in Dundrum village will be rejected next month.
More than 700 submissions were received by An Bord Pleanála in response to proposals for 881 apartments, between three and sixteen storeys, on the site of the old Dundrum shopping centre.
Dundrum Retail, a subsidiary of UK property company Hammerson, has applied for permission for the scheme through the fast-track housing process, with a decision expected by July 25.
The company, which owns Dundrum Town Centre, is seeking planning permission for an eight-year period to coincide with the construction programme.
The proposed development, laid out in 11 blocks across four zones, includes a “landmark” 16-storey building, in addition to a creche, food store, café/restaurant and a new pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Dundrum by-pass.
However, the planning application has met with considerable local opposition over fears the apartments will “overwhelm” Dundrum Main Street and “dilute” the heritage value of the village.
It is also argued that as the site will comprise 95pc housing, it will not meet the required mix of uses under Major Town Centre zoning objectives.
Independent councillor Anne Colgan, chairperson of the Imagine Dundrum community group, said the high number of submissions to An Bord Pleanála demonstrated residents’ strength of feeling about the future of the village.
“Local people want to see the right development in Dundrum, resulting in a thriving, recognisable and liveable urban village, which is also the hub of the second major urban centre in the county,” she said.
“We want to see appropriate housing in the right place, but this is not it.
“Swamping a historic village with a huge and characterless apartment scheme undermines the carefully considered local authority planning framework and dashes the hopes of people who live and work in Dundrum.”
Councillor Colgan, who described the proposed development as “gigantic” and “overbearing”, welcomed a recommendation by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council that the application be refused.
“The council recommendation is very strong, with multiple aspects of the application the subject of negative comment and a basis for refusal,” she said. “The strength of local feeling on this is huge.”
She added she was “cautiously optimistic” the planning appeals board would turn down the application next month.
The council cited numerous grounds for rejecting the plan, including the height of the apartments and risk of “overlooking”; an inadequate mix of housing units; and the potential impacts on the Dundrum Architectural Conservation Area and Main Street.
The report also states that in the absence of “satisfactory and robust evidence” regarding flooding risk, the proposal is deemed to materially contravene the county development plan.
“Having regard to the proposed mix of uses, the planning authority is not satisfied that the proposed development adequately contributes to delivering a vibrant and multifunctional Major Town Centre at Dundrum,” it says.