Councillor requests more on Hyde’s planning decisions

by Gazette Reporter
0 comment

Independent Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Councillor, Deirdre Donnelly, has written to An Bord Pleanála requesting detailed information on all planning decisions in the county that involved the outgoing Deputy Chairman, Paul Hyde. This follows his recent resignation from the planning board.

“I am absolutely shocked that this only came to light recently”, she said. “A number of people contacted me expressing their concern over planning decisions that were made in the area over the last number of years.” Since the 2015 Planning and Development Act came into force, developers were able to apply directly to An Bord Pleanála once the proposed development consisted of 100 units of more.

 “This encouraged applicants to build small ‘shoe-box’ sized units as opposed to really taking into consideration the needs of the people in the area. In my own constituency of Stillorgan, there is an ageing population who would love to downsize from their larger homes with big gardens, but there is nowhere for them to go. Meanwhile we have witnessed a proliferation of strategic housing developments with inadequate parking, small rooms, and no storage. Many of them are build-to-rent schemes, which means that an elderly person who has the means to downsize cannot purchase their own property.

“Over the last few years, I have attended and organised public meetings where people outlined their concerns to me. We have seen that so many developments were granted permission despite the lack of decent infrastructure, public transport already filled to capacity and waiting lists for local schools. I have always maintained that a more holistic approach to planning is needed.”

“I have sent a freedom of information request to An Bord Pleanála asking them for details of all planning decisions made by Paul Hyde in the county. This includes SHDs (strategic housing developments) and other applications that were sent directly to the board as well as all appeals and applications that were first adjudicated by DLRCC (Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council) Planning Department.

“The mere optics of any kind of perceived bias in decisions made can be a cause for concern amongst those affected. The fact that there may have been a personal connection between the second most senior decision-maker in An Bord Pleanála, and some of the applications he adjudicated on, needs to be investigated. I understand that an inquiry is under way at a national level, but my concern right now is those applications that affect this county.”

Last week the Gazette reported on Paul Hyde’s resignation. He resigned amid allegations of conflicts of interest, pertaining to a number of planning decisions made during his term. Due to this conflict of interest, there has been a growing desire to get the council to investigate the legitimacy of the projects green lit during his tenure.

Related Articles