Plan for 1,416 apartments given the green light for north Dublin
One of the country's best-known developers, Gerry Gannon, has secured planning permission for 1,416 apartments at Clongriffin in north Dublin.
As part of the fast-track planning permission granted by An Bord Pleanala, Mr Gannon's Gerard Gannon Properties has secured permission for 943 build to rent apartments and 473 build-to-sell units.
One of the blocks has 17 storeys, made up of 210 build-to-rent apartments. All apartments have private balconies, winter gardens or terraces.
Gannon Properties sought planning for 1,530 apartments across 12 blocks with the appeals board.
However, the appeals board did not approve one block of 114 apartments, as it has ordered that the associated land should be kept for up to five years for potential use as a school site.
The original master-plan for a 53-hectare site at Clongriffin in 2003 provided for 3,600 residential units and, to date, Gannon Properties has built 1,685 dwellings, duplexes and apartments, with 503 units more under construction.
The new applications are part of the final development planned for Clongriffin, which is 9.5km north-east of Dublin city centre.
The appeals board ruled that the proposed development "would make a positive contribution to the emerging character of the area and would provide a substantial amount of residential accommodation of an acceptable standard with a suitable range of commercial and community services without injuring the amenities of other properties in the vicinity".
The new plans also contain 10 shops and two creches.
However, objectors told the board that the Government's fast-track rules are anti-democratic and do not provide sufficient weight to development and local plans, or a proper role for public representatives.
Objectors also expressed concern over a lack of facilities for children and young people. They claimed that the plan would exacerbate the current shortfall in community facilities, with too many built-to-rent apartments.
The objectors stated that the high proportion of rented homes would be a barrier to the formation of a stable community with a suitable proportion of long-term residents.
The residents also stated that the height and density are excessive and would amount to over-development.
Gannon Properties' consultants told the appeals board "the proposed development on these lands is unique in that 80pc of the infrastructure, including roads, a rail station, water and drainage, as well as social and community facilities, are already in place".
The planning documentation stated: "It is evident that apartment developments are required in urban areas to meet the current demand for housing, particularly in Dublin."
The documents said that the site for the apartments is already well served by existing social and community facilities and is close to large retail centres and existing high-quality public transport.
The Gannon company has sought planning permission for an extra 420 apartments at the site and a decision is pending on that application.
Around 10pc of the units granted planning permission from the three applications are for social housing.