Foxrock housing scheme approved despite Dutch embassy opposition

It follows An Bord Pleanala approval for a planned 57-unit residential scheme by the Brighton Rd Partnership on a site neighbouring the Dutch ambassador's ‘Goleen’ residence.
Foxrock housing scheme approved despite Dutch embassy opposition

Gordon Deegan

Opposition by the Dutch embassy has failed to stop a contentious €25 million housing scheme for Foxrock in south Dublin from getting the go-ahead.

It follows An Bord Pleanala approval for a planned 57-unit residential scheme by the Brighton Rd Partnership on a site neighbouring the Dutch ambassador's ‘Goleen’ residence.

The case came before the appeals board after the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands based on Merrion Rd lodged an appeal against the decision by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to give the scheme the go-ahead last year.

The scheme by the Brighton Road Partnership, controlled by housebuilder Richmond Homes, the residential development arm of Avestus Capital, comprises of 36 apartments in a four- to five-storey apartment block and 21 houses.

The western boundary of the appeal site adjoins Leopardstown Racecourse and the former Harcourt Street tramline corridor.

Dutch complaints

In a submission outlining the opposition of the Dutch embassy against the planned scheme, architect, Fergall Kenny contended that the proposal would seriously injure the amenities of Goleen and depreciate the value of the property.

Mr Kenny also claimed that the proposal also gives rise to overlooking of the Goleen property and other adjoining properties “and would seriously compromise the security of my client’s ambassadorial residence”.

Mr Kenny stated: “There is no question that had the proposed development been in place at the time of purchase, the Netherlands Government would not have considered buying and refurbishing ‘Goleen’ as an Ambassadorial residence.”

Security

Mr Kenny told the appeals board that the Ambassadorial residence serves an important function both as the official residence of the Netherlands ambassador and a location for official diplomatic functions.

Mr Kenny told the appeals board “in the event of planning permission being granted for the subject development, the security of the property may well be compromised and it may no longer be suitable for its current use."

However, the appeals board has granted planning permission after concluding that the proposed development would not adversely impact on the character or the setting of the Foxrock Architectural Conservation Area (ACA).

The appeals board also concluded that the scheme would not restrict the potential future development of lands to the north of the site and would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity in terms of visual impact.

The board also found that the apartment and housing scheme “would not cause adverse daylight/sunlight or overshadowing impacts on neighbouring properties and would generally be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience.

The inspector in the case, Susan Clarke found that the proposed development represents an appropriate architectural design response for the site.

Ms Clarke stated that whilst the character of the site will be altered, particularly due to the felling of the trees and the construction of a four/five storey building, “I do not consider that the proposal will adversely impact the visual amenity or character of the area”.

The grant of permission follows a previous planning refusal by An Bord Pleanala in October 2019 and the council for the development of 52 units on the site.

 

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