Dublin residents begin court action against Ballsbridge plan

ireland
Derryroe Ltd applied last May for permission for the development on the site of 36, 38 and 40 Herbert Park Road
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Ann O'Loughlin

A residents group is seeking court orders overturning a permission for 105 apartments and 10 new aparthotel bedrooms. The site in Ballsbridge includes the recently demolished former home of the 1916 Rising leader known as ‘The O’Rahilly’.

Derryroe Ltd, a company owned by the McSharry and Kennedy families, who own the Herbert Park Hotel, applied to An Bord Pleanála last May for permission for the development on the site of 36, 38 and 40 Herbert Park Road.

It got permission last month, subject to conditions. It also secured permission for demolition of the former home at number 40 of Michael Joseph O’Rahilly, the only leader of the 1916 Rising killed while fighting. That demolition occurred on September 29th.

At the High Court on Thursday, Ms Justice Niamh Hyland granted leave to Pembroke Road Association, represented by John Kenny BL, instructed by solicitor Fred Logue, to challenge the Board's permission on several grounds.

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The proceedings are against the Board, the Minister for Housing and the State, with Derryroe and Dublin City Council as notice parties. They will get a fast-track hearing.

Cultural heritage impact

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In their action, the PRA claims the Board did not adequately consider the cultural heritage impact, prior to its demolition by the developer, of the former home at number 40 of The O’Rahilly.

They say number 40 was a site of "significant resonance" in Irish history. It was constructed immediately after the Great Exhibition of 1907 and featured in the formation of the Irish Volunteers and the planning of the 1916 Rising.

The Board was obliged, under the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Directive, to take into account sites of cultural significance in conducting its screening assessment for the EIA but there is no evidence it did so, the residents say.

Other grounds include that the proposed development does not meet the minimum criteria for open space as identified in the current Dublin City Development Plan.
It is also claimed the Board erred in how it permitted a material contravention of building height limits in relation to the development. The 45 metre height of that is some 29 metres above the permitted 16 metre height for the area, Mr Kenny said.

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