Re: Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

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From todays Irish Times:

Planners accused of ignoring guidelines for Ballsbridge
Ronan McGreevy

Dublin City Council’s planners have been accused of ignoring the council’s own guidelines in deciding this month to grant planning permission to a 15-storey development in Ballsbridge.

Developer Ray Grehan was given permission by the council to convert the former UCD veterinary college site into a 15-storey mixed-use development with 109 apartments, nine office spaces and retail and cultural space.

Dublin South East TD Lucinda Creighton said local councillors had made clear their objection to such a development when they voted down the draft local area plan for Ballsbridge, proposed by the council, which allowed for high-rise buildings in the area.

She said the decision by the council would make it easier for developer Seán Dunne to get planning permission for the old Jurys/Berkeley Court site for his development, the centrepiece of which is a 37-storey tower.

“I was on the city council throughout that process [ of the area plan] and we rejected the intensification of the developments in that area and on that site. It is clear the planners ignored the wishes of the councillors,” Ms Creighton said.

“I think the plot ratio as set down in the City Development Plan is somewhere between 1 and 1.5 and this is more like 1 to 3. It’s too intense.

“Either we respect the rules or the guidelines that are set down under the development plan which is provided for in statute or we don’t. It is this type of ignoring development plans that have led to all sorts of problems across Dublin.”

Local area councillor Dermot Lacey said that granting planning permission for the development “flies in the face” of the decision take by city councillors to reject the draft area plan.

“The quality of the design is good and there are some good things about it, but it seems to me that planning permission was given without sufficient consideration of traffic or parking or the provision of social and affordable housing.

“The stupid planning system sets up everything for confrontation and not for dialogue, and I don’t think the planners listened to what we wanted.”

Damien Cassidy, chairman of the Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount Environment Group, said that his group would be objecting to An Bord Pleanála.

The original plans, submitted to the council, received more than 80 objections.

“It is the thin edge of the wedge. It is axiomatic that if this development gets the go-ahead, Seán Dunne will have a good chance of getting his way.

“It will replace a little haven of tranquillity with an urban jungle and extend the city out to Ballsbridge. If the council and developers are going to do this, they should sit down and talk to the residents as they have done in Ballymun,” he said.

© 2008 The Irish Times

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