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Neighbours thwart nuns' bid to build apartment blocks

PLANS by nuns for a €30m redevelopment in Rathmines have been ditched following massive opposition.

The Sisters of St Louis had applied to Dublin City Council to redevelop the 3.5-acre site of their convent school in Dublin 6.

However, the application has now been withdrawn. Residents opposed the plan because they were concerned about its "excessive scale".

The order, which runs St Louis High School, had lodged the plans before Christmas. The scheme would have included 86 apartments in blocks up to five storeys high on its playing fields.

The development would also have included the demolition of a Victorian house, No 1 Grosvenor Road, as well as a former chapel.

A new four-storey convent building, with the relocation of the St Louis grotto relocated, formed part of the plans.

A new two-storey sports hall, a new basketball court, 83-car parking spaces and a public park at the corner of Charleville Road would have been built as well.

Among the objectors was the Belgrave Residents' Association, which said the existing open space was an important feature of the school.

It said the proposed development would not have been "consistent with the sustainable development of the area".

The reduction of the "already confined school site to provide for a five-storey residential development... is not appropriate and should be turned down".

The association added: "The development would undermine the longstanding and positive relationship between the school and the community it serves..."


Another objector, who lives on Charleville Road, said most of his neighbours were opposed to the plan as they were considered "excessive".

He said they were also concerned about the traffic and parking implications of the scheme.

The Sisters of St Louis had been considering development options for part of the convent school site for some time.

It is understood the development was to be built in order to provide accommodation for sisters returning from foreign missions.

About 20pc of the apartments would have been provided to Dublin City Council for allocation as social and affordable homes.

The Green Party had also objected to the plans.

The Dublin South East branch said that the apartments would have been "utterly out of character" with the area.

The party pointed out green space in urban areas acts as a means to soak up floodwaters.

"We have seen recently the damage that flooding can cause," it added.