An Bord Pleanála has upheld Cork City Council’s decision to turn down a plan for a 45-unit development on the Model Farm Road.
Dennehys Cross Construction Ltd was seeking to demolish an existing disused garage on the site formerly known as 'Dennehys Cross Garage' to build 12 one-bed units, 29 two-bed units and four three-bed units.
During the local planning process, the plans had attracted 26 submissions including from councillors, local residents and one on behalf of the Parish Council of the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit.
In rejecting the plans, planners at Cork City Hall said the height, bulk, and massing of the scheme meant it would be "visually overbearing" in the Bishopstown and Wilton area.
Its proximity to neighbouring properties and the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit — a protected structure — were also cited by planners as factors in their decision.
In October last year, Dennehys Cross Construction Limited appealed the refusal to An Bord Pleanála, hoping to overturn that verdict to allow the project to proceed.
According to appeal documentation lodged with An Bord Pleanála at the time, the decision to refuse planning permission did “not come as a shock to the applicant and the attitude towards the development has been negative from the outset.”
In the documentation, the developers said that the proposal constituted a “modest development” and was in keeping with other types of developments being granted permission.
“It is contended that the reasons for refusal do not constitute substantial enough reasons to refuse much-needed development in this area along one of the most strategically important public transport corridors outside Dublin,” the document continued.
“It is considered that the local authority has failed to see the ‘big picture’ planning gain of providing much-needed housing at this location.”
In making its decision An Bord Pleanála said the scheme’s height and scale would result in a “visually obtrusive development” that would “overwhelm” neighbouring properties.
In addition, the board's order decided that the scheme would “detract from the character of the streetscape and would fail to positively contribute to the designated ‘Local Centre’”.
“The proposed development, by reason of its height, scale, massing and layout, including the close proximity of the two blocks on a limited site area, would result in a substandard level of accommodation and poor quality of amenity space which would give rise to serious injury to the residential amenities of the future occupants of the apartment blocks and to the adjoining residential properties by reason of overlooking, overshadowing, an overbearing presence and noise and disturbance,” the board’s order continued.
“The construction of the two proposed apartment blocks in close proximity to the church, by reason of excessive scale, height, mass and bulk, would dominate and obscure views to and from the church building,” it added.