Minister needs to urgently review SHD Development guidelines

18 September 2020
  • Bailey Gibson site SHD out of kilter with the local area

The Strategic Housing Development planning process needs to be urgently reviewed by the Minister according to Labour Councillor Darragh Moriarty who was speaking after a decision by An Bord Pleanála to waive through planning permission for the development of the Bailey Gibson site in Dublin 8 without any meaningful or substantive conditions attached. This is despite the planning authorities own inspector’s report explicitly stating planning should be refused.

Cllr Moriary said:

“What is the actual point of these inspector’s reports if An Bord Pleanála are going to blatantly disregard and ignore their findings? It makes an absolute shambles of the planning process”

“The inspector’s report recommended that planning be refused as it constitutes a ‘gross overdevelopment of the site’ citing many of the same concerns that were raised by residents and community groups such as the building height and density, the lack of public open spaces and impact on the surrounding neighbourhood. However, the decision to grant planning permission means all these considerations have been completely ignored.

“This is not the first time that ABP has gone against its own inspector’s report and we end up seeing developments tied up in knots in the courts. Nobody wants this. I lodged a submission on this development with my predecessor on Dublin City Council, Senator Rebecca Moynihan. We couldn’t have been clearer that while we welcome this development and that it will bring much-needed housing units to the area we have concerns about the density of the development which is unnecessarily high and as a result completely out of kilter with the surrounding area.

“The SHD process needs to be reformed to stop the fast-tracking of developments through the planning process which means that planning applications are not being given the consideration they need. This is not about opposing development for development’s sake, this is about reflecting the genuine and constructive concerns of the local community.

“The inspector’s report also found that the proposed development would result in a material contravention of the Dublin City Development Plan. As Councillors, we have limited powers with so much concentrated at a national level. The City Development Plan is within the limited powers we have. If developers can just come along and blatantly contravene the plan as they have done here in relation to building height, density and public spaces, what is the point of local government and the planning process?

“This development should not have been granted planning in its current form given An Bord Pleanála’s own inspectors explicitly stated that it should have been refused and I am calling on the Minister for Housing to urgently review the guidelines around Strategic Housing Developments to prevent this happening again.

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