Playing pitches across the country in danger because of Bord Pleanála decision

11 April 2018

Labour Party representative for Dublin Bay North, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has warned that An Bord Pleanála has put many playing pitches across the country in danger with their recent granting of planning permission to build homes on St.Anne’s Park. 

Senator Ó Riordáin said:

“The decision of An Bord Pleanála on April 3rd, to grant permission to the construction of 536 units in St Paul’s College at St. Anne’s Park is deeply disturbing and heartbreaking to the thousands of residents who had objected to the plan. 

“An Bord Pleanála have rejected completely the views of all local Councillors, the Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, local residents groups and sports club in order to rule entirely in favour of the developer.

“The decision has thrown the zoning objectives of the City Development Plan into question as every piece of land and playing field in Dublin protected by a Z15 zoning is now open to substantial residential development.

“What is particularly distressing is the amount of appropriately zoned land that is being left unused that would solve the housing crisis ten times over, rather than building on local sports pitches and adversely impacting on the premier green lung of the Northside.

“I have been campaigning to protect these lands for over two years. I hosted two public meetings in November and January, helped organise a public protest in January and a three thousand signature strong petition to the CEO of Dublin City Council in February.

“I am genuinely stunned by the decision which has echoes of the controversy in Clonkeen Community College in Dún Laoghaire.

“Having met with the Clontarf Residents Association and the “I Love St Anne’s” campaign, we are pursuing the only legal avenue open to us, which is to seek a judicial review of the decision in the courts.

“The time frame is short and the financial implications are potentially large, so continuing support from the community at this stage will be crucial. It is important that every community in Dublin gets involved in this conversation.

“This is one of the first controverisal decisions made following the movement of planning applications for so called strategic developments of 100 or more housing units to An Bord Pleanala. This effectively bypasses local government and removed a core function from local authorites.

“The Labour Party opposed this Fine Gael proposal when it was tabled in the Oireachtas, and the Irish Planning Institute said at the time that ‘Allowing applications for developments of more than 100 homes to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála will damage democracy and increase the risk of judicial reviews’”

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