Monday, May 23, 2022

Gordon Deegan

The Department of Education has emerged as an objector to plans for over 1,000 new homes at a site at Baldoyle in north Dublin.

Earlier this year, Lismore Homes Ltd lodged €468 million ‘fast track’ plans for a 1,007-unit Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme for a site at Baldoyle in Dublin 13.

The proposal is made up of 58 studio units, 247 one bedroom units, 94 two-bedroom three person units, 563 two-bedroom four person units and 45 three-bedroom units.

The developers are proposing to sell 200 units to Fingal County Council for social housing for an estimated €92.97 million and have put an indicative average price tag of €484,893 on each dwelling.

However, in an objection lodged by the Department of Education against the scheme, it requested that approval “is not given to this Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme because it is going to further compound the projected pressure in meeting school place requirements in the area unless a suitable school site is identified”.

The department said it “objects to the granting of permission for this SHD on that basis”.

Computer-generated image of the proposed housing development in Baldoyle, north Dublin

The department pointed out that in terms of potential requirements for school places, it is relevant to the department that the proposed development site adjoins the sites of two other large permitted SHDs, a scheme for 882 units and another scheme for 1,221 residential units.

The department said it submitted to An Bord Pleanala in both of these SHD applications that permission not be granted until a suitable school site is identified to meet the post-primary school needs of existing and future residents of the area.

It said: “The Department has been trying for some time now, without any success, to identify a site.”

A school demand assessment lodged on behalf of the developers with the application states that “our assessment concludes that this proposal won’t generate a need for an additional school or schools in the area over and above those under construction and planned for the area”.

However, the Department of Education claimed that the applicant’s school demand assessment report was “too crude an instrument to reliably gauge school place requirements for Baldoyle/Stapolin”.

Further opposition

In a separate objection, the Abbey Park and District Residents Association, Love Baldoyle Bay and over 25 local households have also voiced their opposition against the proposal.

In their objection, the residents said they were not opposed to development of the site for housing.

“Many of us have friends and relatives who wish to move to our area and in addition we would like to see the currently bare sites completed so that our community can move forward,” they said.

However, they said that it was important that “our final community is achieved in a sustainable way… and as such we wish to object to the application”.

The group said the proposed buildings would stand in a well-accepted transect route for Brent Geese.

“They also stand above all other buildings in the area and so represent a direct collision point,” they said. “The application makes no provision for Bird Strikes on glass or indeed light pollution in the higher buildings in the skyline which also leads to bird strikes at night.”

A decision is due on the scheme in July.

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