Permission refused for massive 180 home Newbridge estate due to flooding and design concerns

Proposed apartment block described as 'monolithic'

Leinster Leader reporter

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Permission refused for massive 180 home Newbridge estate due to flooding and design concerns

Plans for new homes turned down

Planning permission has been refused for 180 new homes at Ballymany, Newbridge with An Bord Pleanála citing flooding concerns and branding the apartment complex "monolithic".  

An Bord Pleanála refused permission to Glan Developments Limited for the proposed development at lands to the west/south-west of Ballymany Manor and Rathcurragh Housing Estates. It wanted to demolish an existing derelict house and sheds to make way for a new residential development comprising 145 houses of between two and 2.5 storeys, and 35 apartments in a part four-storey and part six-storey block.

The application also included a new 660-metre link street onto the Ballymany Road. 

The submissions on this file and the inspector's report were considered at a Board meeting held on February 12.

The board was highly critical of proposed design strategy for the overall development, and in particular the scale, mass and design of the apartment building at the entrance to the development.

"The design of the proposed apartment block is considered to be an inappropriate design response to the site, given its locational context, which requires a building of much greater architectural quality than that proposed. It is considered that the arrangement and overall design of the apartment scheme is monolithic with repetitive proportions and an unrefined palette of materials," it said.

It said the apartment complex was dominated by car parking and lacked nearby usable open space.

The board explained: "It is considered that the overall residential development results in a poor design concept and layout that is unimaginative and substandard in its form, scale and layout and fails to provide a hierarchy of high quality usable open spaces."

It also found the project lacked "a sense of place".

It said the flood risk report was not "sufficiently comprehensive" and did not comply with the requirements of the Flood Risk Guidelines.

"The board cannot be satisfied, therefore, that the proposed development would not lead to a risk of flooding, including flood risk to third party properties and lands, and cannot be satisfied that the development would not be prejudicial to public health. In the absence of certainty in relation to these matters, the proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area," it said.

The board also said the proposed Link Street does not meet the design requirements for a link street.

In reaching its decision, the board noted the lack of a crèche, notwithstanding the number of units proposed, and the high proportion of family-type homes.

"The Board therefore considered that any future proposal for residential development on these lands should include provision for childcare, but decided not to include this aspect as a further reason for refusal, in the light of the substantive reasons for refusal set out above," it said.