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Plans for 180 apartments in Howth village could threaten Martello Tower, locals claim

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The development in Howth would result in the demolition of the derelict Baily Court Hotel

The development in Howth would result in the demolition of the derelict Baily Court Hotel

Artist's impression of how the development of 180 apartments might look

Artist's impression of how the development of 180 apartments might look

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The development in Howth would result in the demolition of the derelict Baily Court Hotel

Plans for up to 180 apartments in Howth are out of scale with the historic and architectural character of the village, a residents’ group has claimed.

The proposed development would result in the demolition of the derelict Baily Court Hotel on Howth Main Street and the former Edros sports centre on Balscadden Road.

The apartments will be between two and five storeys high across four residential blocks, with a café, retail units and new linear plaza linking Main Street with Balscadden Road.

An Bord Pleanála is reported to have received more than 50 submissions in response to the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) application lodged by Marlet through Balscadden GP3 Limited.

Two previous permissions granted for the site were quashed after Balscadden Road Residents’ Association took successful judicial review proceedings. The group said it had “serious concerns” about the latest proposal.

Howth Sutton Community Council said members were not opposed to housing, but had raised issues about the scale of the proposed development and its impact on the historical and archaeological heritage of the village.

“We are acutely aware there is a housing crisis and homes are needed,” a spokesperson said. “However, housing must be appropriate in terms of numbers, density, height, design and allocation of car parking spaces.”

The group claims there is a history of landslide and subsidence in the area and believe excavation work could pose a safety risk and threaten a nearby Martello Tower.

Residents have also raised fears about the impact of construction traffic and described parking provision in the application as “woefully inadequate”.

They said a previous permission had been granted for 38 houses on the Edros section of the site and this scale of development would be welcomed in the community.

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“Opposition to this planning application is pretty widespread and not confined to one or two groups,” they added.

Dublin Bay North TD Cian O’Callaghan (SD) said while he was supportive of the provision of housing on the site, he had raised a number of issues in his submission to An Bord Pleanála.

“I am strongly opposed to the demolition of the Baily Court Hotel building due to its historic value and importance in terms of the streetscape of the village,” he said. “I would like to see it preserved and integrated as part of any development.”

Deputy O’Callaghan said he also wants to see a choice of housing mix on the site, with a majority of units made available for purchase by individuals.

He believes plans by the same developer for over 500 apartments on the nearby Techrete site “more than caters for the build-to-rent market in the area”.

Councillor David Healy (GP) said while the site is suitable for development, he believes the proposed apartments are “too high for its sensitive location”.

“It should be scaled back to respect the natural and architectural context of the site, in particular the Martello Tower on Tower Hill,” he said.

Mr Healy also called for the removal of the underground car park element of the proposal.

Councillor Jimmy Guerin (Ind) said the Baily Court site had been “an eyesore for far too long”.

“Something needs to be developed at this location,” he said. “Despite a lot of engagement between the developers and the community, agreement could not be reached on how best to proceed.

“I have always accepted the views of our planners in Fingal and I will accept whatever decision the board reach.”

A spokesperson for Fingal County Council said they would not comment as the application is currently with An Bord Pleanála. A decision is expected in July.


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