Permission has been granted for almost 500 apartments in Coolock, despite inspectors describing the proposed project as ‘monolithic’ with the potential to set a ‘undesirable precedent’ for future developments.

The development of 495 apartments across eight to nine storeys has been approved by An Bord Pleanala, with the project to be built on the former Chivers site.

Approval was given for the development by UK-based Platinum Land, despite An Bord Pleanala’s inspector advising against giving permission for the site on several grounds.

As previously reported by Dublin Gazette, the land was voted for rezoning by Dublin City Councillors last year following a presentation from Platinum Land.

However, those who voted on the initial proposals said that what has been submitted to An Bord Pleanala has some differences.

Councillor Larry O’Toole (SF) said that the plans were ‘at variance’ with a presentation given by the developers last year.

Cllr O’Toole said: “The proposal is very much at variance with the presentation that we were given last year during discussions on rezoning of this land.

“This is an excessive development in a very settled residential neighbourhood and does not consider the adverse effect it will have on local infrastructure and the impact it will have on the local road network.”

Inspector Report

In the inspector’s report, they stated that they are ‘not convinced’ that the area surrounding the massive development will have a commensurate level of jobs, social and recreational facilities that would be needed to create a sustainable neighbourhood in Coolock.

“The proposal… will give rise to an increase in population within this local area where I am not convinced that there is a commensurate level of employment opportunities, social and recreational facilities required to underpin sustainable neighbourhoods.

“The development strategy for the site itself both in terms of scale and height is considered excessive,” the inspectors report reads.

However, despite the recommendations made in the Inspectors report, the board made the decision to approve the development, detailing that the proposed development would be a ‘positive contribution’ to the character of the locality.

The direction reads: “The Board considered that… the proposed development would make a positive contribution to the urban character of the area, would not seriously injure the residential amenities of property in the vicinity and would be acceptable in terms of traffic and pedestrian safety and convenience.”

Permission was given for the development under several conditions, including that two of the blocks are to reduce their height to nine and eight storeys respectively.

, including that two of the blocks are to reduce their height to nine and eight storeys respectively.

Speaking on the new Coolock development to Dublin Gazette, Labour councillor Alison Gilliland said: “Local residents welcomed much needed residential development on this long vacant site.

“However, they were shocked when the developer changed their plans from a 5 storey, Dublin City Development Plan compliant proposal and submitted for a much higher and denser plan (9 and 10 storeys) in what is a predominately two storey housing landscape.

“What I find most concerning is that ABP over-ruled its own Inspector’s report which recommended that the application as submitted be refused citing that the proposal would be ‘contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area’ on height, density and design.

“While we all acknowledge the desperate need to build and increase housing supply it is very unusual that such detailed consideration be over-ruled and makes me question the integrity of ABP with regard to its vision for sustainable housing across our city.”