Dublin City Council has recommended to An Bord Pleanála that it refuse planning permission to developer Gerry Gannon’s ambitious €1.15 billion housing scheme for north Dublin.
Earlier this year, Gerard Gannon Properties lodged plans for the largest ever Strategic Housing Development (SHD) that comprise 2,527 residential units for Belcamp Hall, Malahide Rd at Belcamp.
A planning statement by Downey Planning claims the proposed development at Belcamp will create a new neighbourhood between the Malahide Road and a regional road, in the unique setting of the Belcamp Hall lands and Dublin’s Northern City Fringe. The scheme is made up of 1,780 apartments, 473 houses and 274 duplex units. As part of the scheme, 1,969 units are ‘residential’ with 558 apartments to be ‘build to rent’.
Mr Gannon’s firm is proposing to sell 532 homes for social and affordable housing for an estimated €243 million to Dublin City Council and Fingal County Councils.
However, in its recommendation to refuse, the city council state that the existing deficiencies in the road network would render the network unsuitable to carry the increased traffic likely to result from the development.
The Council state that the proposed development “is therefore considered premature”.
The Council has made the recommendation after a submission from the National Transport Authority (NTA) which stated that it had ‘fundamental concerns’ with the scheme.
The NTA state that the proposed development is not currently served directly by public transport and the nearest bus stops on the Malahide Rd are outside acceptable walking distances to serve the majority of future residents effectively and are not served by high frequency services.
The NTA stated that there is a high degree of uncertainty around how the proposed development can be served by public transport.
In its submission, the NTA state that the use of the SHD mechanism to develop the equivalent of a new town with an anticipated population of almost 8,000 people without agreements in relation to supporting infrastructure and services “is therefore of great concern”.
The submission adds that “this concern is exacerbated by the absence - by necessity due to the provisions of the SHD mechanism - of a coherent proposal to provider significant essential retail, retail services and other supporting uses on the site meaning future residents would have to travel out of the development for their regular needs such as grocery shopping.”
The NTA states that it is of the view that the potential exists for a high degree of car dependency to emerge in the proposed development for those with cars and unacceptable reduced levels of mobility and associated reduced quality of life to emerge for those without cars.
The submission states: “As such, the NTA is not in a position to state that the proposed development meets the objective for providing for proper and sustainable land use and transport integration..”
The mixed use scheme is to also include 18 retail units, three cafés/restaurants, two childcare facilities and one sports changing building.
The planning statement submitted by Downey Planning states that the scheme offers an efficient use of land which will assist in the expansion and subsequent completion of the wider Belcamp neighbourhood, while encouraging the rejuvenation of the area through higher density
A decision is due on the application next month.