An Bord Pleanála has refused permission for the Edros proposal approved by Fingal County Council through material contravention. The full Inspector’s report is here.
I have extracted the reasons for the Board’s decision below.
As you can note from other recent postings, I was increasingly concerned about the direction that the provision of community facilties was going in (in particular distance from centres of population and no consideration of swimming pool). This decision now puts that entire process back to the drawing board as the available funding is now back to the original €700,000. The Board’s decisions and reasons mean that the Edros site is now confirmed as an amenity site. It will be up to the Council, the community and the landowner to consider how to give it a real amenity value.
REASONS AND CONSIDERATIONS
Having regard to the zoning objectives in the Fingal Development Plan 2005
2011 in which the site is part zoned primarily Objective OS, "To preserve and provide for open space and recreational amenities" and part zoned Objective HA, "To protect and improve high amenity areas", which zoning is considered reasonable, it is considered that to grant permission for the proposed residential development of 64 dwelling units and a cafe would contravene materially those Development Plan objectives. The proposed development, would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
The site is located part within an area of high amenity, designated in the Howth Special Amenity Area Order 1999 and part in a buffer zone to the Howth Special Amenity Area. Part of the site is also within an Architectural Conservation Area in close proximity to the Martello tower, a recorded protected structure and various recorded monuments. Having regard to the layout, scale, height and design of the proposed residential development and cafe, it is considered that the proposed development would seriously injure the amenities and undermine the high amenity status of the surrounding area, which would be contrary to the HA zoning objective "To protect and improve high amenity areas" in the Fingal Development Plan 2005 – 2011. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
The proposed development requires the construction of a new vehicular access to Balsacdden Road. a road of narrow width and poor vertical and horizontal alignment. This road. which is subject to parking restrictions and has a narrow single footpath on the east side overlooking Balscadden Bay. is part of the popular cliff walk and is heavily used by vehicles and pedestrians, especially during weekends and the tourist season. It is considered that the traffic arrangements proposed by the applicant and the scale of the proposed
development would result in the undesirable obstruction of the free flow of traffic on the public road. which would endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard.
ABP decision number 227972
Fingal Co.Co. decision number F07A/1349