Council launches judicial review in to Dublin apartments

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 17 July 2020

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Ireland: Dublin City Council has taken judicial review proceedings for a second time against An Bord Pleanála’s approval of plans for a 13-storey apartment building in Dublin’s north docklands.

The council’s legal challenge comes just two days before the expiry of the eight-week time limit for seeking a judicial review of the board’s approval in April of Ronan Group Real Estate’s plan to to develop 464 build-to-rent apartments and 200 co-living bed spaces across two blocks.

The proposed Spencer Place development is adjacent to Salesforce’s new European headquarter campus, which is under construction.

The Ronan Group submitted its application for the apartments within days of a decision by the High Court last February to quash An Bord Pleanála’s approval of an identical scheme. Dublin City Council had initiated judicial review proceedings in January in what was its first legal challenge to a grant of planning permission by the board.p.

A spokesman for the developer said: “It is hard to reconcile the urgent need for housing and jobs, in the midst of a period of considerable uncertainty, with the actions of Dublin City Council. This is the second time the council has attempted to overturn the planning permission granted by An Bord Pleanála under the Strategic Housing Development regulations on the same site. The council is once more prepared to commit scarce resources to delay or block residential development, including 47 much-needed social housing units, and oppose another arm of the State. These actions have already resulted in delay, significant additional cost and lost opportunity for the State, given CIÉ’s involvement as a significant shareholder in the project. Unlike the residents and businesses whose interests it is supposed to serve, however, Dublin City Council appears to operate in a consequence-free environment.”

If the approval withstands the council’s legal challenge, it would allow the developer to deliver an additional 115 apartments and to replace an aparthotel it had proposed previously with 200 shared bed spaces across a total of 120 bedrooms. Prior to the current dispute, the company had planning permission in place for 349 apartments and a 100-bed aparthotel in two seven-storey blocks.

The new proposals include a hotel-style lobby reception with 24/7 concierge desk, an electric car share club, a rooftop residents’ lounge and garden with barbecue facilities, a penthouse residents’ gym, private dining spaces and a multimedia room.

 

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