Community to host public meeting tomorrow re Donabate SHD

Aledo commit to amended/reduced application for Donabate site

by Rose Barrett
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Aledo Donabate, the developers of Corballis East announced last week that it would be amending elements of their approved Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme. Their SHD application was approved by An Bord Pleanála on November 14 for the construction of 1,323 new homes on the Donabate site.

A public meeting has been called for tomorrow evening, Tuesday, December 6 at 8.15pm to address the long-term implications of the huge development on the community.

Aledo stated in response “to concerns raised by Fingal County Council and local residents,” it would submit a further application in early 2023 and revise the current plan.

The new proposals will see “the majority of the apartment buildings removed from the plan”, a significant reduction in the overall density of the site – at least 300 units to be removed.

Furthermore, they committed to a reduction in the height where visual impact is of concern.

SHD development for Corballis East, Donabate

Aledo noted “a “pre-application review of the proposed amendments has already commenced with Fingal County Council.”

Local Councillors Adrian Henchy (FF) and Paul Mulville (SD) along with local Labour area representative, Corina Johnston already attended an online meeting to discuss the community’s issues with the granted planning permission.

The local Community Council will host a public meeting tomorrow evening at 8.15pm to discuss the implication of ABP’s decision and the long term impact on the small coastal communities of Donabate and Portrane.

The meeting will be held at the local Donabate Portrane Community Centre. A possible judicial review may be on the agenda and some locals felt Aledo’s announcement re a revised application was “advantageously” announced in advance of the meeting.

Aledo Donabate also assured the local community and readers of Dublin Gazette that the company is committed to preserving an important archaeological discovery of an underground tunnel (souterrain) during the future construction on the site.

Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF) stated that he would give a guarded welcome to this latest statement from Aledo “to reduce both the densities and heights of the apartments at this stage.”

“We must focus on the decision by ABP to grant permission to the Aledo SHD application. It remains my opinion that this decision is deeply flawed and is absolutely not in the best interests of both the current and future generations of Donabate residents.”

He noted while he was very much aware of Dublin’s housing crisis and the urgent need for more housing of all types, Donabate has not been an impediment to the housing crisis.

“I am somewhat stunned and acutely disappointed with the decision from An Bord Pleanala – despite the recommendations from their own Planning Inspector and the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council to refuse this permission.

“The scale, magnitude and proposed densities within Aledo’s SHD are completely inappropriate and totally unacceptable for what is still a largely rural area on the outer fringes of Dublin. The area is acutely short of the necessary physical and social infrastructure essential to underpin a development of this scale.”

Cllr Henchy added the population of Donabate and Portrane is currently just under 10,000, with an acute shortage in the area of family homes to both rent and purchase.

Corina Johnston, local area Labour rep stated blamed the controversial re-zoning in 2003 of this highly sensitive site in Donabate as key to today’s crisis

“It was voted through by FF and FG councillors at that time are look where we are now. An Bord Pleánala’s decision to grant planning permission is totally in material contravention on heights, densities and visual impact of the Donabate Local Area Plan and Fingal Development Plan which went through a vigorous public consultation process.

“While Aledo has stated to submitting a new application, we cannot deal with that until we see the actual plans and will assess it in line with all aspects of the relevant local area and county plans.

“The recently discovered archaeological monument (souterrain) on this site – which will be added to the next review of the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) – must be given the full protection it deserves given its historical significance, the first of its kind on the Donabate Peninsula.”

Commenting on the revised submission, Aledo Donabate’s Director, Michael Cannon, said: ‘‘In the past we have engaged with local groups and their representatives, at which time we were collaboratively working towards a lower density, housing led model. 

“We feel that amendments could be beneficial to align our respective objectives and hopefully address local concerns and stake-holders.”

The public meeting will be hosted at the Donabate Portrane Community Hall at 8.15pm on Tuesday, December 6.

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