Appeal won to overturn sprinkler requirement in basement car park
The former site of Baliey’s Cars being developed by MB McNamara Construction for 196 apartments

Appeal won to overturn sprinkler requirement in basement car park

DESPITE objections from South Dublin County Council’s fire officer, Bernard McNamara’s property company have succeeded in overturning a requirement to have sprinklers in an apartment complex at Cookstown.

McNamara, who was one of the highest-profile developers during the Celtic Tiger, is behind the plans for the build-to-rent mixed residential and commercial development, containing 196 apartments on Second Avenue in Cookstown Industrial Estate.

His company MB McNamara Construction, was recently granted a fire safety certificate which included a condition requiring that a sprinkler system be installed in the basement car park.

The company appealed that condition, the details of which are contained in a report of the appeal process produced for An Bord Pleanála.

As part of the appeal, SDCC insisted that the requirement for the sprinkler system should remain.

The council argued that although the fire safety regulations do not mandate sprinklers in car parks, “the provision of the draft regulations should ne reintroduced, particularly having regard to the changes in materials and fuel types” in modern cars, which it said raises the risk of a fire spreading.

Warringtonfire Consulting, on behalf of MB McNamara, argued that Technical Guidance Document B does not require sprinklers in apartment buildings lower than 30 metres.

All of the buildings in the Cookstown apartment complex are below 30 metres.

A final report on the appeal by Maurice Johnson of Maurice Johnson Consultants, an independent fire safety consultancy, agreed with Warringtonfire’s interpretation of Technical Guidance Document B.

In conclusion, Johnson noted An Bord Pleanála “previously adjudicated on similar car park sprinkler conditions and have found the imposition of sprinklers to be unjustified.”

Housed across floors blocks at the former site of Bailey’s Cars, the development is to contain 45 studio apartments, 48 one-bedroom apartments and 103 two-bedroom apartments.

MB McNamara Construction previously carried out the 146-unit Exchange Hall development in Tallaght.

The developer is also the owner of the former Gallaher’s cigarette factory site at the junction of Airton Road and Greenhills Road.