An Bord Pleanala blocks works at Corballis site in Donabate

by Sylvia Pownall

An Bord Pleanala has upheld an appeal against works associated with a site earmarked for up to 1,000 houses in Donabate.

Aledo Donabate Ltd had been granted permission by Fingal County council for a development at Corballis to build roads and services as part of a e400 million project.

The local authority gave the green light for road works, access roads, water services, a nature park, and the construction of open spaces ahead of the housing scheme.

But Donabate Portrane Community Council questioned the granting of permission for the works, claiming the county council acted contrary to its powers.

Its appeal to An Bord Pleanala arguing that the proposed development would cause serious damage to the Malahide and Rogerstown Special Areas of Conservation and the protected bird species that reside there was upheld.

The sites are protected under European regulations.

The planning board held that it could not be satisfied that construction would not adversely impact on the integrity of the protected Special Areas of Conservation.

A spokesperson for Donabate Portrane Community Council said: “For years, the environmental despoliation of Donabate has been allowed to continue unchecked.

“This is a landmark victory both for the community and for the environment.”

An Bord Pleanala noted that there are significant numbers of wintering birds using the lands impacted. Plans to construct a nature park on the lands could disturb and displace Light-Bellied Brent Geese and other birds, the planning board said.

In its decision, An Bord Pleanala said “ cannot be satisfied, beyond reasonable scientific doubt, that the proposed development, either individually or in combination with other plans and projects, would not adversely affect the integrity of these European sites in view of the sites’ conservation objectives.”

The lands concerned have been zoned for 1,000 houses, which could generate sales of €400million. The works which formed part of the planning application were to facilitate the residential development.

Dublin Gazette understands that the developer intends to lodge an application for the housing development directly with An Bord Pleanala under strategic housing guidelines.

The community council has labelled as “a disgrace” the fact that the council has allowed permission when the scheme falls short on amenities. DPCC called for the cumulative impact of the entire project, which will involve housing, a crèche, and retail units, to be properly assessed.

In its current guise it will provide just 27% of the public open space it is required to, and 17% of the playground facilities is it supposed to deliver, according to Donabate Portrane Commmunity Council.

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