Green light for eight-storey blocks on Stillorgan Leisureplex site

by Rebecca Ryan
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A green light has been granted for 232 luxury rental apartment of up to eight storeys high on the Stillorgan Leisureplex site.

An Bord Pleanala gave the go ahead to real estate firm Kennedy Wilson, who intends to have four restaurants and cafes, and two retail units on the site on Old Dublin Road.

There is also proposals for a concierge service, cinema gym, residents lounge, dining area, communal kitchen and rooftop terrace.

Kennedy Wilson bought the 2.5 acre site for €15 million in 2016. The bowling alley will face demolition as part of the plans.

Many have opposed the height of the building, which conflicts with the local area plan, however, the real estate firm argued that another developer got permission to build student accommodation of up to eight storeys high on the adjacent Blakes restaurant site.

Stillorgan councillors have been expressing their views on the development.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Leas-Cathaoirleach and local Councillor for Stillorgan, Deirdre Donnelly (IND) told Dublin Gazette there was a lot of concerns among locals regarding the development.

“I am disappointed with the An Bord Pleanála decision. This proposed development is not suitable for the area, due to its density and scale.

“I am not opposed to development. There are other sites in the area where work has already commenced and will result in much needed housing. 

“I organised a public meeting for the residents living nearby when the application was made, and there was a lot of concern about this proposal. 

“There are issues with parking and traffic exiting the complex into St Laurence’s Park. 

“This application includes the demolition of the Leisureplex and its bowling alley that has a fascinating history.

“Once this closes, clubs and special needs groups will be let down because they will have nowhere else to go. I have been contacted by a number of those affected expressing their concern.”

Councillor Maeve O’Connell (FG) said: “New housing is welcome, but disappointed that this approved development does not include significant leisure facilities or a creche.

“Also, no consideration for potential older tenants in an area where there are few trade-down options, and this location would have been ideal as in the village and nearby medical facilities,” she said.

Councillor John Kennedy (FG) said: “I am quite surprised that the application has been approved, especially given that, as I protested, the plot ratio for the development represents gross overdevelopment and technically contravenes the Stillorgan Area Plan which is supposed to be respected.

“The Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Chief Executive’s report submission showed agreement with me that the plot ratio is excessive, and will likely depreciate the value of surrounding sites.”

He added that there are a “host of other problems” with the development, including childcare facilities and loss of the leisure space.

Locals have been expressing their mixed views on the development online.

One wrote: “Fantastic … homelessness and housing crisis is at an all-time high…. have some compassion for others less fortunate then yourselves. Few extra minutes in a car won’t kill you….”

While others wrote: “Looks like a nice development but won’t be great for traffic,” “More boring glass boxes and height creeping in!” “Rental, here we go again. No [opportunity] for people to buy…”

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