PERMISSION has been granted for the building of 274 homes on the grounds of the former Ursuline Convent in Blackrock despite local concerns about the traffic network.
Glenveagh Homes Limited applied directly to An Bord Pleanála to build two apartment blocks, comprising a mixture of one, two and three-bed units.
The application was made under the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme which allows developers to bypass local authorities for large-scale housing projects exceeding 100 homes.
People who had made submissions on the planning application were notified by letter that planning has been approved for the project to the northeast of the former Convent building close to Blackrock pier, subject to 24 conditions being met.
Local independent councillor Kieran McCarthy said locals are not against local housing projects but stated he has concerns about the scale and density of the development and the consequences for traffic.
A primary school and school are already located on the grounds of the convent.
“Before the local elections, it was a big topic on the doors. Every second house was asking about it,” Mr McCarthy told The Echo.
“People realise that houses and apartments have to go in but not at the scale that is proposed. There are a lot of concerns about the road structure going in and out of the site, especially as there are two schools within the complex and it opens out onto a narrow cobbled junction at Blackrock Pier. There’s one way in and one way out to this enormous habitation.
“People have already expressed disappointment to me. I had questioned the sale of this project and what was being put in to address the traffic element. In the conditions, I don’t see anything that addresses scale or the traffic issue. The conditions appear to be soft and I remain concerned about the development.
“Sometimes you wonder with SHD applications if local voices are being heard from the ground. It’s quite worrying,” Mr McCarthy added.
Michelle Fagan of An Bord Pleanála stated in the decision to grant planning permission that density and traffic were not regarded as a barrier to the development.
“The proposed development would constitute an acceptable residential density at this location, would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity, would not detract from the character and setting of the protected structure or other nearby protected structures, would be acceptable in terms of urban design, height and quantum of development, and would be acceptable in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety and convenience,” Ms Fagan said.