BY Amy Rohu
Locals in Dalkey are in a new disagreement over the proposed development of a 104-bedroom nursing home at the same location as a badger sett.
In an objection lodged against the Bartra Capital nursing home, Broadcaster Pat Kenny has said the “straightforward commercially driven enterprise cannot justify killing the badgers of Bulloch Harbour”.
Earlier this year, Pat and Kathy Kenny and over 30 other households in Dalkey were successful in opposing a previous application by Bartra for a nursing home on the same site after Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council refused the application on a number of grounds.
Bartra appealed that refusal decision to An Bord Pleanala but within days withdrew the appeal and instead lodged the new application which is currently back before the Council.
As part of preparation in lodging the application, Bartra hired experts to carry out a Ground Penetrating Radar survey which determined the scale of an underground badger sett complex identified by three entrances on the proposed development site.
A Badger Conservation Plan lodged with the application states that once proposed mitigation measures have been implemented for the local badgers, the proposed nursing home “will not have a significant impact on the badger sett structure”.
However, the Kennys disagree with the conclusions of the Badger Conservation Plan and instead claim in their objection that “what is proposed by the applicants as mitigation of the badger sett will result in extermination”.
The Kennys claim that the excavation for the nursing home building at the southern end of the site would destroy the sett “and with it, the badger family”. They point out that badgers are a protected species and state: “Given that there are no mitigation measures that can protect this sett, we ask that the proposal be turned down on the specific grounds of the Wildlife Protection measures enshrined in law and in the Bern Convention to which Ireland is a signatory.” They also stated: “For the record, the badgers bred successfully this year.”
In the documents lodged on behalf of Bartra by Thornton O’Connor Town Planning, Patricia Thornton states that the principal objective of the application is to contribute towards reducing the shortage of residential care home beds.
A decision is due on the application within the next month.