ABP overturn county councils decision to demolish Hillhouse
The Hillhouse on Lucan Road

ABP overturn county councils decision to demolish Hillhouse

SOUTH Dublin County Council’s decision to grant permission to demolish Hillhouse on Lucan Road for a 20-unit four-storey apartment block has been overturned after being appealed by residents.

Some 50 residents signed a petition objecting to Frances Dowling’s plans, which had initially been greenlit by the local planning authority in January 2021.

The apartment block was to be comprised of five one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom apartments with proposed vehicular access to the subject site from Lucan Road and Lucan Heights.

Following a request for further information by the council, the number of units was reduced to 19.

There was provision for 13 car-parking spaces and 12 bicycle parking spaces along with ancillary services such as a water storage tank and bin store on the 0.1925ha site.

A significant number of submissions were received by the local planning authority, including an objection which was signed by 50 residents from Lucan Heights and the surrounding estates.

In that objection, the residents took issue with the scale, design, location and density of the proposed development.

“Parking is provided for 13 vehicles in a site capable of housing 70 occupants equating to 0.5 car spaces per unit,” the letter reads.

“This is unacceptable and will severaly impacted the residents of Lucan Heights and The Cloisters, areas already impact as an overflow car park for public transport users and school drop-offs.”

Public safety was a major factor in the residents’ objection.

They believed that the addition of a vehicular access through Lucan Heights increases the risk and danger of the proposed development.

Following the council’s decision to grant permission, the Lucan residents and Bernard J and Vivienne Coyne both filed third party appeals against the decision to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) in March 2021.

In the Coyne’s appeal, which was compiled by Hughes Planning and Development Consultants, they stated that the impact the proposed development “would have on their home is catastrophic and irreversible”.

The appellants live at The Cloisters, at a property located 1.2m from the shared southern boundary of the proposed development.

“Our appeal is submitted on the basis that South Dublin county Council has made a grave error in judgement in regarding the detrimental and catastrophic impact the oversized and overdeveloped nature of the proposed development,” their appeal reads.

In particular, the nature of the appeal was what impact the plans would have on the residential amenity and how the secondary access route “will have disastrous consequences to the road safety of current residents of Lucan Heights, future residents of the proposed development and users of the pedestrian access”.

In coming to the decision to overturn the council’s original decision and refuse permission, ABP took aim at the primary access points to the site – which would “endanger pedestrian safety”.

“It is considered that the proposed intensification of traffic accessing and egressing the site would result in increased traffic hazard on a busy road and would result in unsafe traffic movements into and out of the site,” the ABP decision to refuse permission reads. Considering access over the pedestrian laneway to the east of the site and through Lucan Heights, ABP said that it “would present an unacceptable risk to pedestrians” and “would introduce an unacceptable level of traffic onto this narrow roadway”.

In deciding not to accept the inspector’s recommendation to grant permission, the Board decided to refuse permission on December 23, 2021.

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