Appeal lodged against planning refusal for 65 apartments in Douglas

Sirio Investment Management Ltd had sought permission to construct 65 apartments, 45 of which would have been build-to-rent, as well as four commercial units for retail use at East Douglas Street and East Douglas Village.
Appeal lodged against planning refusal for 65 apartments in Douglas

In documentation submitted with the application back in October, it stated that the subject site contains a former Permanent TSB located to the north-east of the site and a former Bank of Ireland branch to the south west.

DEVELOPERS behind a residential scheme proposed for the heart of Douglas Village have lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála challenging Cork City Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the development.

In addition, the developers have requested that an oral hearing take place “to allow the merits of the proposed development to be considered in further detail”.

Sirio Investment Management Ltd had sought permission to construct 65 apartments, 45 of which would have been build-to-rent, as well as four commercial units for retail use at East Douglas Street and East Douglas Village.

The apartments were to be spread across three blocks, with 20 apartments in a four to six-storey block, 15 apartments in a six-storey block, and 30 apartments in an eight to 10 storey block.

The proposed development would first have involved the demolition of two existing on-site buildings and associated structures.

In documentation submitted with the application back in October, it stated that the subject site contains a former Permanent TSB located to the north-east of the site and a former Bank of Ireland branch to the south west.

“Both buildings have been closed for several years and the rear of the site is in a derelict condition. The redevelopment of this site offers the opportunity to bring additional active commercial and residential uses into Douglas town centre,” it stated.

However, Cork City Council refused planning permission for the proposed development on the basis that it would be “out of character with the pattern of existing development and would be visually obtrusive within the Douglas village streetscape and the Church Street Architectural Conservation Area”.

In its reasoning, the council also noted that the application did not meet objectives set out in the Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District Local Area Plan of 2017.

Appealed

Sirio Investment Management Ltd has now appealed this decision.

In the appeal report, it states that the applicant’s initial intention for the site was to provide a higher density development with around 130 residential units incorporating a taller building but, following pre-application consultation through the strategic housing development (SHD) process and with the benefit of views expressed by Cork City Council and An Bord Pleanála, “the applicant and the professional design team decided to significantly reduce the scale of the proposed development and reduce the height of the tall building to 10 storeys”.

The report continued: 

“In the assessment of the planning application, the majority of the technical reports from Cork City Council Departments had no objection in principle to the development and multiple observations received were overwhelmingly in support of the development and emphasised the need for new residential units to address the current crisis in housing supply."

An Bord Pleanála is due to make a decision on the case by mid-May.

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