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Swords apartment complex would create ‘undesirable precedent’ say county planners


Fingal County Hall

Fingal County Hall

Fingal County Hall


A planning application has been refused for 20 apartment units at Swords Wrought Iron Works, River Lane, St Colmcilles Court, Swords, Co Dublin.

The application was for eleven 1-bed and nine 2-bed units, within a four- to five-storey block, over basement level.

The application involved the demolition of existing structures on site.

All apartments were to be provided with private balconies and communal open space.

Twelve car-park spaces and 24 bicycle parking spaces were to be provided at basement level with access via St Colmcille's Court.

The proposed development also provided for associated hard and soft landscaping: boundary treatments and all associated site infrastructure and engineering works necessary to facilitate the development.

A Natura Impact Statement (NIS) was prepared and submitted to the planning authority with the application.

This application was received by Fingal County Council on 18 May 2022 and registered on May 18 2022.

On Jul 12 2022, the decision “Refuse permission” was made by Fingal County Council.

Planning permission was refused on a number of grounds.

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These included claims that the development, due to its “excessive density, bulk, design and overall layout”, would constitute overdevelopment and would be “out of character with the pattern of development in the area.”

It was deemed the proposed development would “seriously injure the amenities of the area and property in the vicinity and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

The council also ruled that the proposed development would “adversely impact on the residential amenity of adjacent properties”, and would “depreciate the value of property in the vicinity.” It also stated that if permitted, the development would set “an undesirable precedent for similar development in the area.”

It was also ruled that the “proposed incremental/ad hoc development of the subject site” would compromise the development potential of the adjoining site at 50 Main Street, Swords and would also compromise the delivery of specific objectives under the Swords Masterplan 2009.

It was considered that the proposed development failed to fully accord with the requirements of Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments Guidelines for Planning Authorities (Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, December 2020.)

Fingal County Council stated there was also a lack of adequate information submitted with the application with respect to the proposed surface water drainage for the development.

The Planning Authority was not satisfied that the proposed development would not be subject to flood risk “or would not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere.”

It was deemed the proposed development would materially contravene Objective SW07 of the Fingal County Development Plan 2017-2023. It would also be contrary to The Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines.

Finally, the council stated the proposed development is located in close proximity to the Ward River which is linked to the Natura 2000 sites of Malahide Estuary SAC or Malahide Estuary SPA.”

The council ruled it had not been “adequately demonstrated” that the proposed works would not negatively impact on the biodiversity and conservation objectives of the Natura sites.