The proposal by Lansdowne Francs Properties to construct six houses on a grass play area was met with massive opposition from residents of both St Mel’s Avenue and Glendoo Close. Labour and its local representatives Dermot Looney, Cllr Eamonn Walsh and Pat Rabbitte TD were to the fore in opposing the speculative proposals.
The original application was neither rejected nor approved, with the developer being asked to send in additional information. However, according to the Council’s own documentation, records were discovered in the interim “additional information” period which showed that a previous application on the land was rejected due to concern about land ownership.
These concerns, which were raised on numerous occasions by Labour throughout this application process, were clearly influential in the final decision. The Council’s decision, available at http://www.sdublincoco.ie/524702.pdf, noted that “[t]he applicant has not demonstrated to the Planning Authority that he has sufficient legal interest to carry out the proposed development, as third party rights exist by virtue of the unfettered use of the land as public open space by the public at large for over 30 years.”
The status of the area as a play space was also copperfastened in the decision taken, with the Council also citing the “scale, height and bulk” of the proposals as being “visually out of character with the existing pattern of development in the area.”
Congratulating local residents on a hard-fought victory, Greenhills Labour representative Dermot Looney noted that “this decision should put the nail in the coffin of this speculative proposal and finally confirm this land as a public amenity for the residents of Greenhills and Greenpark. Although the developer can officially appeal this to An Bord Pleanála, I am confident that the grounds for refusal are definite.”
“While others remained quiet as mice on this open area, Labour were to the forefront of the campaign to retain the play area in the interests of the local community, with a public meeting, a number of leaflets, official submissions and close work with local residents,” Looney said. “Our staunch opposition to this proposal comes from a belief that open space such as this should be used in the interests of the local community. Now, I want to continue the dialogue I have started with residents on St Mel’s and in Greenpark as to how best their needs can be met with this area,” said Looney.
The full application history on this site is available at http://www.sdublincoco.ie/index.aspx?pageid=144®ref=SD07A/0995