herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

New development for Howth apartments spark concern

General view of potential Techrete Site, Howth
General view of potential Techrete Site, Howth

A NEW planning application has been lodged for controversial development land in Howth. Planning permission is already in place for the building of 249 apartments at the Techrete-Teelings site.

Now a revised vision for the site - that includes more family homes - has been laid out in a fresh planning application lodged in August.

Concerns have been raised locally about the scale of the development and Fingal County Council has received dozens of submissions on the plans.

The mixed-use development will comprise of 145 apartments over five blocks and 51 houses, which will be either three or four-bedroom homes.

Four houses will also be used for traveller accommodation.

The development will include six commercial units which can be used for retail, a gym space or restaurants. These units will not be open for use by a takeaway.

There will also be a creche and a community centre on the site. The buildings will range from between one and six storeys in height.

The original plans permission was granted for five-storey buildings after the developer scaled back initial plans to build seven-storey-high apartment blocks on the site.

Within the ambitious proposals is a mix of public and semi-public spaces, including a public park, a public plaza, residential courtyards and cyclist and pedestrian routes.

Independent Senator Averil Power held a public meeting about the planning application, which was attended by more than 150 locals.

"The consensus is that people would like to see the site developed, as it is an eyesore, but the concern is about the scale of it," Ms Power told the Herald.

"Howth is in a peculiar position because Sutton Cross is the only way in and it can become a bottle neck at busy times.

"The plan is better now because it includes more family homes. There is a shortage of affordable housing and we do need more apartments, for older people in particular that would like to downsize to smaller homes," she added.

Ms Power pointed out that the site is not located on a road system that could be expanded to accommodate for the extra cars that the development would bring. Some aspects of prior planning applications for the site that locals would have liked to see included are a hotel and a retirement facility, she said.

There is also concern about the location of the community centre, which some feel is too far from the centre of the village.

Some of the housing will also be built on a local park but an all-weather pitch is to be developed elsewhere on the 4.4 hectare site. permission Independent TD Tommy Broughan also lodged a submission on the plans.

"On the positive side, these buildings will form a signature gateway to Howth town. Some constituents fear, however, that the height and mass of these blocks will dominate the town," he wrote.

Mr Broughan raised concerns about traffic congestion and potential drainage problems if the development is to go ahead.

An Bord Pleanala granted permission to build on the site following an application from Ray Grehan's Glenkerrin Homes in 2013, despite objections from more than 100 locals. That permission is valid until 2018.

A decision on the new application by Glenkerin Homes (in receivership), has not yet been made.

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