Bord Pleanala Grants Permission for Cabra Hill Development

9 September 2007

by Cllr Joe Costello

  • An Bord Pleanala has decided to Grant Permission for the development at Cabra Hills, Carnlough Road on 6th September 2007. The decision is disappointing given that An Bord Pleanala's own inspector recommended refusing permission for this development. However, the Board's decision is subject to a number of valuable conditions and amendments to the original application.


In July 2006 Ailesbury Co-ownership applied for permission to demolish Nos 2 and 4 Carnlough Road and to develop 402 units of accommodation (333 apartments - 97 1 bedroom, 195 2 bedroom and 39 3 bedroom together with 61 duplex and 8 terraced houses). The proposed height of the development was 3 to 7 storeys. The application also included a crèche, 2 shops and a civic centre. There was also a proposal for 539 underground and 72 over-ground car-parking spaces. The main exit was to be at the Carnlough Road Junction with the New Cabra Road and the laneway linking the present site to Fassaugh Avenue which is currently closed was to be reopened to pedestrian traffic.

Residents from the area objected to this development. We supported the residents' objections to the development on the following grounds:

  • § Height and density and consequent overshadowing and overlooking
  • § The high number of 1 bedroom apartments (27%) and lack of family sized units,
  • § Associated traffic problems on existing roads
  • § The removal of the spoil from the site and requesting that all transportation of materials to and from site be carried out by rail
  • § The dangers association with the re-opening of the pedestrian access on to Fassaugh Avenue
  • § Water pressure and sewage
  • § Vermin control
  • § The number of social and affordable houses to be designated
  • § Open space provision
  • § Community consultation

The Planning Application was the subject of two requests for additional information. On 14 December 2006 Dublin City Council gave permission for 378 units. The reduction in the number of units was achieved through the amalgamation of a number of one bedroom and two bedroom units into "family sized units" thereby decreasing the number of one bedroom and small two bedroom units. However, none of the issues raised by the residents in terms of height, overlooking overshadowing, public open space, transport etc were adequately addressed by Dublin City Council.

Both the Developer and the residents appealed the decision of Dublin City Council to An Bord Pleanala. We supported the residents in their appeal to the Bord.

The Bord's own inspector recommended refusing permission.

The Inspector's Report states "the proposed development would be out of scale and character with the area and as such would be inappropriate in terms of visual impact .... The proposed development would also result in considerable overshadowing and loss of light for neighbouring properties and would be contrary to the requirements of the Dublin City Development Plan 2005-2011.... The high density of the development would result in considerable traffic congestion in the area". The Inspector therefore recommended that An Bord Pleanala REFUSE PERMISSION for this development. However, An Bord Pleanala overruled their Inspector's recommendation.

An Bord Pleanala GRANTED PERMISSION subject to a number of new and important conditions including:

The omission of Block D: A seven Storey block comprising 53 Apartments and underground parking

The area where Block D was proposed to be located, instead to be laid out as public open space for the entire development incorporating play areas and a substantial kick about area.

The amalgamation of 19 apartments in Blocks A, B and C into family sized apartments

Consequently the overall development is reduced to 325 units as opposed to 402 units and the percentage of one bedroom units reduced from 27% to 20%

The number of car-parking spaces to be reduced in line with the reduction of the number of overall units.

The civic centre to be available for the use of the wider community as well as future residents and its management structures to be agreed in advance with Dublin City Council

The hours of work to be from 0700 and 1800, Monday to Friday, and between 0800 and 1400 Saturdays and not at all on Sundays or Bank/Public Holidays

Unfortunately An Bord Pleanala decided to permit the pedestrian access to Fassaugh Avenue. Furthermore the Bord has directed that this access must not be gated

The development will have a significant impact on the local community. 20% of the units or 65 units will be social and affordable housing subject to agreement between the Developer and Dublin City Council. We will continue to work with residents to ensure that residents' issues are addressed during the both the construction and occupation phases.