An Bord Pleanála has given the green light for a multi-million euro residential and commercial development in Knocknacarra, which will include almost 90 new homes.
The Appeals Board has ruled that the proposals for the 6.5-acre site off the Blake roundabout – between the Ballymoneen Road and Western Distributor Road – would not seriously injure the amenities of the area and would be acceptable in terms of traffic convenience.
In February 2017, Ardstone Homes (part of the Dublin-based investment fund Ardstone Capital) sought permission to develop the site – where permission for a Lidl supermarket was previously refused on two occasions – for 91 new homes, four retail units and a commercial unit to be accessed from the Ballymoneen Road and through the adjoining Leargán estate.
However, following concerns from the City Council and objections from Leargán residents, the scheme was revised and the vehicular access from that estate was removed.
The design team considered maintaining a pedestrian access to Leargán but were unable to come up with a solution.
The new plans involve 88 residential units (a mix of three-bed semis, three-bed terraced, three-bed duplex apartments and two-bed apartments), four ground floor retail units, a creche for 50 children, parking for 113 cars and 11 bicycle stands, each with five spaces.
Following the revisions, the City Council granted permission for the development, but this was subsequently appealed by a Ballymoneen Road resident, who pointed out his property will be surrounded on three sides by the development, which will have an impact on foundations and lead to overshadowing, overlooking, noise and dust.
Thomas Faherty argued the development’s design, density and character does not comply with City Development Plan requirements and would lead to serious traffic issues on an already congested road.
He raised concerns about the devaluation of nearby properties and potential for flooding.
However, An Bord Pleanála ruled the development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience.
A series of conditions were attached to planning including a stipulation that the nature of use of the retail units must be agreed with the City Council
No more than 75 residential units can be occupied before the completion of the creche.
Construction work can only take place between 8am and 7pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays.
According to the plans: “The design solution proposed a three-storey building when viewed from the road comprising retail opportunities form suitable operators with a commercial office environment overhead. Retail stores are modest in scale and accessed either from the pathway or from the internal of the development via options around stairs and lift.
“A façade treatment of circular apertures and glass planks provide a contemporary treatment to the building and a new landmark at the Blake roundabout. Other retail units in this block have duplex units overhead accessed from a central deck with open space for each to the south.”