AN action group opposed to the construction of a large-scale housing development on the northside of the city have set up a GoFundMe account to meet legal fees.
The Good Shepherd Community Action Group is exploring its options — including the possibility of a judicial review in the High Court — after An Bord Pleanála upheld a City Hall planning decision in September that will see the construction of 182 apartments and 20 houses on the site of the historic Good Shepherd Convent.
The development, by Moneda Developments, provides for the conservation of the convent, orphanage and Magdalene buildings and their conversion into apartments.
It includes four and five storey apartment blocks and a number of stand-alone buildings.
The action group has now made an appeal to raise the money to pay legal fees for solicitors to advise on the next course of action.
In a statement, the group said: “Legal counsel has now been engaged for a preliminary review to explore further options at a cost of €1,230. We have €446.30 in the fund from previous donations, leaving €783.70 to be raised. Our community needs your support, and any amount you can give is welcome.
“The decision allows for the building of more than 182 apartments and 20 houses of one, two, and three bedrooms.
“The building work and subsequent doubling of the population has traffic and safety implications that will affect everyone living in or travelling through the Sunday’s Well/Shanakiel/Blarney Street area.
“Many strong objections were made to An Bord Pleanala against the environmental, safety and traffic implications of the proposed scheme, and many irregularities in the planning proposal were pointed out, but none of these appear to have swayed the decision of the board. “
Group spokesperson Tom Coleman said there is a lot of anger in the community at the decision.
“We don’t have the infrastructure, we already have traffic building from 6.30am in the morning and now they want to add another 400 cars to it.”
The current population in the vicinity of the site is in the region of 600 people and residents fear this will more than double under the plans.
Traffic congestion, public safety, pollution, access for emergency services, height, privacy and an unmanageable population spurt are among a number of concerns for local residents.
The time limit for Judicial Review proceedings is eight weeks from the date of decision which means any challenge must be submitted by November 14.