An BORD Pleanala has rejected a bid by residents of a celeb estate in north Dublin to turn their exclusive development into a gated community.
Famous residents of Abington in Malahide include footballer Robbie Keane and boy-band member-turned radio DJ Nicky Byrne.
The residents sought to install the 1.5 metre high electronic gates citing security concerns, which they claim are testified to in a letter from a local Garda.
The letter from Malahide Garda Station pointed to reduced crime at two apartment complexes in Portmarnock following the installation of gates, and anticipated the same experience at Abington.
Earlier this year, Fingal County Council refused planning permission for the gates in spite of the residents citing "reported incidents of burglary, theft and suspicious activity".
However, the residents appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanala. The appeal stated that the Council "failed to acknowledge that the vehicular gates would remain open during the daytime and unrestricted pedestrian and cyclist access would always be available".
The appeal also pointed out that the Council's decision failed to give due weight to the residents' security concerns.
The Council rebutted these concerns, drawing attention to driveway gates to individual homes at Abington, many of which are electronically operated.
The Council told the appeals board: "The residents of Abington are not considered to be at greater risk than other residents of Malahide. Furthermore, the security measure proposed is not considered to be an appropriate approach in an estate, the layout of which was designed to provide informal surveillance and hence safety and security to local residents."
The An Bord Pleanala inspector in the case, Hugh Morrison, visited the estate and observed that the entrances to the detached homes at Abington are gated with other security measures in evidence.
An Bord Pleanala pointed out that the Fingal Development Plan prohibits the formation of gated communities.
Refusing permission, the appeals board stated that "the proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area".
The appeals board said "the proposed gates would impede permeability and the proper integration of the estate into the wider neighbourhood and create an undesirable precedent".