The recent planning application by Bartra Property group for the site adjacent to Bulloch Harbour was rejected by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown planners on 22 February 2018.
The decision came a mere two and a half weeks after the closing date for “observations”. Around 270 observations were submitted by local people, user groups, community organisations, politicians, statutory bodies and interest groups. Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association, which led the campaign against the planning application, would like to thank the hundreds of supporters who contributed to the right decision being made. “This is great news. We are very relieved but acknowledge that this is only the latest skirmish in what may be a long war” said an association spokesman. ” The developer has four weeks to lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanala, should they decide to do so.
The council’s reasons for turning down the application were emphatic:
“In relation to the significant imbalance and predominance of residential use in the proposal and having regard to the low percentage of overall floor area being provided for the marine related uses together with the low developable site area being provided to support and service such uses, it is considered that insufficient provision has been made for waterfront, harbour and marine related uses. It is considered that the amount of site area reserved for residential use is excessive and seriously compromises the achievement of a quality mixed use and integrated development with adequate and appropriate provision for waterfront, marine and harbour related activities. It is therefore considered that the development as proposed would seriously compromise the harbour’s ability to attract and maintain good marine related uses and harbour activities, would limit the scale and diversity of such uses, which the harbour could support and would be contrary to the ‘W’ zoning objective for this site which is ‘to provide for waterfront development and harbour related uses’. The Planning Authority therefore considers that the development as proposed would be contrary to the zoning objective for this location of providing for waterfront development and marine related uses and would also be contrary to the requirements of Specific Local Objective 22 as set out in the 2016 – 2022 Dun Laoghaire -Rathdown County Development Plan. The proposed development would therefore be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of this area. 2. It is considered that the lack of an integrated design approach and the almost exclusive use of the majority of the site area for residential use would seriously erode and weaken the existing ‘W’ land use zoning objective for the site of providing for waterfront, marine and harbour related uses. This would undermine the existing land use zoning objective for this site and would seriously compromise the harbour’s ability to attract and maintain good marine related uses. It would also limit the scale and diversity of uses, which the harbour could support and would be contrary to the zoning objective for this site which is to provide for waterfront development and harbour related uses. The proposed development would therefore be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of this area. 3. Given the prominent harbour and coastal location of the proposed development and taking into account the special character of the immediate harbour area, concerns exist that the proposed quayside elements are visually and physically segregated from the rear of the development site with no meaningful integration, visually or functionally. The proposed development fails therefore to respond appropriately to the unique site context, which requires a high quality, distinctive and integrated mixed use design approach, which considers the site holistically and responds appropriately to the special character of the area and seeks to strengthen and reinforce a positive sense of place at this location. The proposed development would therefore be seriously injurious to the special character and amenities of the harbour area and contrary to the requirements of Specific Local Objective 22 as set out in the 2016 – 2022 Dun Laoghaire -Rathdown County Development Plan. The proposed development would therefore be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of this area. NOTE: The applicant is advised that the Council’s Drainage Planning report in respect of this application highlights significant coastal flooding issues at this location. The report recommends a refusal of permission for the two apartments proposed within the quayside block and recommends seeking further information with respect to flood defence measures for the other elements of the development.”