Blackrock apartment scheme gets green light from council

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Seabren Developments by businessman Michael Moran has obtained planning permission to build an apartment project on the site of the former Europa Garage site on Newtown Avenue in Blackrock, south Dublin.

Seabren Developments had filed plans for 91 apartments consisting of 49 one-bedroom units, 38 two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom units.

However, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council decided that 50% of flats would be two-bedroom units and ordered some one-bedroom houses to be merged.

The council included the condition after finding that the developer’s proposal to have 54% of the units as one-bedroom units did not comply with guidelines for apartment buildings.

Council said the mainly four-storey scheme – which has been the subject of some local objections – slightly exceeds the maximum height limits permitted by the Blackrock local area plan and is therefore not fully in line with the building height strategy of the current Dun Laoghaire Rathdown county development plan.

‘Innovative design’

The planner’s report, however, said the council was “satisfied that the proposed development offers an innovative and attractive design response”.

The council’s report said the extra height was concentrated in the least sensitive part of the site and can be absorbed without unreasonably compromising the residential amenity of nearby properties.

The council said it was pleased that the proposal “has been designed to a high standard and will make a positive contribution to the environment of the surrounding building”.

As part of its requirements to comply with Part V social housing obligations, the developer put an indicative average cost of €382,964 on each unit, and offered to sell 10 to the council.

Kevin Conway of Newtown Avenue, Blackrock told council that the Europa site had been derelict for some years despite developers having obtained planning permission on at least two occasions to build residential units there.

Mr Conway said: ‘This latest development continues the trend of high-density, large-scale developments that are completely inappropriate in a low-rise, family-oriented residential area with widely recognized traffic problems.’

He claimed that the density of the project was “completely out of step with the density of the surrounding neighborhood”.

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