TWO VERY DIFFERENT APPEALS TO AN BORD PLEANALA

Both Bartra Development and Bullock Harbour Preservation Association have appealed to An Bord Pleanala (ABP) following the decision of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Planners to refuse permission for Bartra’s latest planning application for Bullock Harbour. Bartra’s appeal is seeking to have permission granted for their proposed development, while BHPA has appealed specifically to add further reasons to the refusal of permission.  This move by BHPA is in light of ABP’s decision to grant permission for Bartra’s previous very similar application.

It goes without saying that BHPA and all our supporters were delighted with the refusal this February by the Planners of the latest proposed Bartra development at Bullock Harbour. However in light of Bartra’s previous appeal to ABP and the Bord’s rejection of the very many observations from members of the public and ourselves in BHPA, of the recommendations of their own inspector, and – very particularly – of the very strong observation from the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s drainage department, BHPA believes that it is important to strengthen the DLRCC reasons for refusal of this latest Bartra planning application. The reasons given by DLRCC Planners for refusing planning permission included the risk of flooding and the lack of compatibility of the proposed development with the heritage character of the harbour. We are asking for the following further reasons to be added to the decision to refuse permission:

1.     ABP was not prepared to defend the environmental issues raised by us in the Judicial Review of the previous application (2018 – 2020 approx) and on which the High Court quashed the Bord’s decision granting permission. We believe these same environmental grounds should be reflected in the reasons for refusal of permission given that they have still not been adequately address in this most recent application.

2.     The planner’s report also contains several DLR departments strong objections to the scale and height of the proposed development,  However these crucial points have not been referred to in the reasons for refusal.

3.     The proposed development would obliterate the views of the rocks to the rear of the site from the harbour (a protected structure) and from Ulverton Road.  It would also interfere with the views of the harbour from the sea which is in breach of several Objectives in the County Development Plan. This has not been reflected in the reasons for refusal.

4.     The proposed residential development would contravene materially a development objective indicated in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Development Plan 2022-28 for the zoning of land.  Objective W is “to provide for waterfront development and harbour related use where residential use is neither permissible nor open for consideration.” This should be a further reason for refusal.

We believe that by making a formal appeal to ABP, our reasons for rejection of this latest application will have to be considered on the same footing as Bartra.  As an observer our reasons would not carry the same weight, as was seen when ABP granted permission for the very similar application in 2018.

We will be writing again with advice to supporters on whether and how to make “observations” to ABP in relation to these two appeals.

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