Sunday 16 June 2019

'Grave concerns' over Donabate apartments

Controversy over plans for apartment development in Donabate
Controversy over plans for apartment development in Donabate

John Manning

Plans by property developers, Glenveagh to seek permission in Donabate to allow it to build four-storey apartment blocks have been questioned by the peninsula's community council.

Donabate Portrane Community Council said the move to increase the number of units at the Hearse Road site from 215 to 306 units represents 'excessive density'.

According to the community council, the area is already suffering from over-crowding on public transport links, with the road infrastructure set to be constrained even when the new Donabate Distributor Road is completed.

The community council said there was also a fear in the community that units in the developement would be sold to so-called 'cuckoo funds' and would 'elbow out' first-time buyers.

The application has been made under the Strategic Housing Development scheme, which means applications are directly submitted to An Bord Pleanála to speed up the development process.

Glenveagh plans five apartment blocks to the northern section of the Semple Woods site. Two of the blocks will be three storey units and the other three will be four storey.

Glenveagh has declined to state if the new apartments planned by the company are 'build-to-rent' when asked by the Irish Independent.

Donabate Portrane Community Council said it had 'grave concerns that the application represents over development on the peninsula, which is suffering from chronic infrastructural deficits'.

It said it also has major concerns about the proximity of the site to the important Special Areas of Conservation at Malahide Estuary and Broadmeadow/Swords Estuary.

A spokesperson for the community council said: 'The argument for higher densities, of up to four storeys, is that developments are close to transport links.

'But commuter trains are already overcrowded by the time they reach Donabate, with little prospect of that changing any time soon.'

Even when the new distributor road is build, the area will still suffer from inadequate road links, the spokesperson said. The planned extension of the DART to Donabate may not happen for eight years, the community council said.

'The new planning application is part of plans that will see Donabate grow to be a town the size of Athlone, with little of the supporting infrastructure enjoyed by residents of the Midlands town,' the community council spokesperson said.

The community council called upon residents of the area to make a submission on the application to An Bord Pleanála before May 29 next.

Fingal Independent