Challenge to apartments at St Anne’s Park permitted

by Gazette Reporter
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A RESIDENTS’ group battling plans for a nine-storey development at St Anne’s Park in Raheny have been given the go-ahead to challenge the decision.

An Bord Pleanala gave the green light in February for a complex of 657 units on park land after plans were submitted via the fast-track Strategic Housing system last October.

But last week campaigners opposed to the scheme were successful in their High Court action seeking a judicial review of the board’s decision.

Three groups – Clontarf Residents’ Association, I Love St Anne’s and Lough Environmental lodged court papers.

The court determined that An Bord Pleanala failed to “conduct an appropriate assessment” in accordance with the Habitats Directive for the development on the St Paul’s playing fields.

Following the decision I Love St Anne’s and Clontarf Residents’ Association issued a statement in which they described as “a little premature” a move to erect fencing running through the St Paul’s school lands giving access to the fields behind it.

The contentious plans were granted permission in February with the Marlet Group given the go ahead in the face of strong local opposition.

More than 650 objections were lodged against the development which proposes 378 two-bed apartments, 224 one-bed units and 55 three-beds across nine blocks ranging in height from five to nine storeys.

In the granting of permission subject to 25 conditions, the appeals board upheld the recommendation of its own inspector Karen Hamilton at the end of her 101-page report to grant planning permission.

The appeals board stated that the proposed development would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity.

Objectors claimed that the height of the apartment blocks is inappropriate and that the development is excessive and out of character with St Anne’s Park. 

Dublin City Council also told the appeals board that the application should be refused due to a number of reasons, including significant biodiversity issues at the site. 

Calling for stronger legislation protecting habitats Green Party Cllr Donna Cooney said it “should not be up to community groups… to time and time again fight in the courts to uphold EU legislation and protect the environment against state bodies”.

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