Green light for 12 storey apartment block despite Shortall 'ghost towers' fears

An illustration of the proposed development in Santry, Dublin 9.

An Bord Pleanala has given approval for 324 apartments in an apartment block development for Santry, despite of Social Democrat co-leader Róisín Shortall TD expressing 'ghost tower' fears for the area.

In total, the appeals board has granted planning permission for almost 700 residential units in two fast track planning applications across north Dublin and Kildare.

In one Strategic Housing Development (SHD) plan, the appeals board has granted planning permission for 324 apartments on lands north east of the Omni Park Shopping Centre, Swords Rd, Dublin 9.

The planned three apartment blocks by the Omni Centre Partnership Consortium are to reach in height from five storeys up to 12 storeys.

The proposal also includes an 81 bedroom apart-hotel and the appeals board granted planning in spite of co-leader of Dublin North West TD, Roisin Shortall and a large number of locals lodging objections against the plan.

In her objection against the ‘fast track’ plan, Deputy Shortall has described the 12 storey height as ‘outrageous’ for the area.

Deputy Shortall stated: “The scale of the proposed development would present an incongruous ‘landmark’ overlooking residents and business in the area.”

She further stated that “12 storeys is out of sync with the low rise character of the area and wholly unsuitable for Santry”.

The Deputy stated that “it appears to be open season for tall buildings across Santry but the long term effects of this must be considered”.

She stated: “High rise apartment blocks without proper infrastructure and amenities, could become ‘ghost towers’ littered across our community.”

Deputy Shortall argued that the residents of Magenta Hall to the east of the site “would be seriously impacted by these apartment blocks”

The deputy state that there would be a detrimental impact on the residential amenity on their homes and gardens.

However, the appeals board found that the plan would constitute an acceptable quantum and density of development in this accessible urban location and would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area.

The appeals board also found that the the proposal would be accept in terms of urban design, height and quantum of development and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and pedestrian safety.

The board stated that the development would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

The appeals board gave the plan the go-ahead in spite of planners from Dublin City Council recommending that the plan be refused.

Separately, the appeals board dismissed the recommendation of its own inspector to give the go-ahead to Ardstone Homes Ltd for 372 residential units for lands at Crodaun, Cellbridge, Co Kildare.

The inspector in the case recommended refusal on four separate grounds concerning design and layout of the scheme; waste water sewerage deficiencies and traffic.

However, the appeals board found that the development would not have a negative impact on any of those aspects.

The board stated that the plan would make a positive contribution to the character of the area and the development of Cellbridge.