Stepaside build-to-rent apartment scheme approved despite local opposition

The scheme comprises 445 units in nine blocks rising from two to eight storeys
Stepaside build-to-rent apartment scheme approved despite local opposition

Gordon Deegan

An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to a 445 unit build-to-rent apartment scheme at Stepaside in south Dublin.

The appeals board has granted planning to Ironborn Real Estate for the scheme, comprising nine blocks rising from two to eight storeys in height, despite over 150 objections lodged against the fast track Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council recommended to the appeals board that planning be refused across a number of heading for the scheme on a 3.39 hectare site at Aikens Village at Stepaside, Dublin.

Council opposition

The Council recommended refusal after concluding that the scheme would seriously impact on existing and future residential amenities and depreciate the value of those properties. The Council also recommended refusal after finding that the scheme is not a considered a suitable location for the provision of a Build to Rent apartment scheme.

One of those to lodge a submission is local Fine Gael TD and junior minister, Josepha Madigan.

In her submission, she asked the appeals board ensure that the concerns of residents associations, businesses and community groups are taken into account when making its decision.

Ms Madigan said the development plan permits developments up to six storeys in height for the area and asked that the board provide sufficient justification for the granting of permission for heights up to eight storeys.

The minister stated that she acknowledges that a balance needs to be struck between what is being proposed for future communities and what is currently being experienced by existing communities.

Units to Council

In planning documents lodged on behalf of the applicants, Ironborn is to provide 44 units to the Council for lease and the applicants have put an indicative cost of €79,900 per month - which works out an average lease cost per month of €1,815.

With a five-year planning permission now granted, the applicant and Council will engage on a final lease cost per unit.

In his report, Board Pleanala Senior Planning Inspector, Rónán O’Connor found that the site is suitable for a Build to Rent scheme as it is an accessible urban location that is zoned for residential development.

Recommending that planning be granted, Mr O’Connor stated that the increased height and density on the site is supported by the Building Height guidelines.

Mr O’Connor stated that the height strategy pursued is one that pays sufficient heed to the surrounding developments.

Mr O’Connor stated that permission has separately been granted planning permission for a seven storey 200 apartment unit scheme 300m east of the site.

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