19 Dec 2019

OLG Judicial Review – Update

In the High Court today 19th December 2019 (Judge Simons presiding), an order was made setting the date for the hearing of the Judicial Review as Wednesday 19th February 2020. The case has been set down for a 3 day hearing commencing on this date. Legal submissions to support the case to quash the ABP decision were lodged, and these are being circulated to the Respondent (ABP) and notice parties (Durkans) and (DLR).

We would like to thank again the resident who is taking this case, and who is doing it himself without legal representation. An extremely impressive achievement. The Residents’ Association is fully supportive of his actions to date, as the outcome of this case will affect not only our community, but all land zoned Institutional in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

Previous post: https://www.roebuckresidents.com/judicial-review-olg-development/

19 Dec 2019

IGB – Question for the Minister

Thanks to Catherine Martin T.D. for asking the Minister for Education the parliamentary question below on our behalf in relation to the IGB site. We are keen to know when building will start on this site. The recently published list of contract tenders for new school buildings does not include any for Goatstown/Stillorgan. The Minister’s response doesn’t really provide much information however. He does say the secondary school “will open in September 2020 as scheduled, in suitable interim accommodation”. Where will this interim accommodation be located though?

For Written Answer on : 18/12/2019
Question Number(s): 169 Question Reference(s): 53607/19
Department: Education and Skills
Asked by: Catherine Martin T.D.


To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the permanent school buildings for the recently opened primary and the post-primary school (details supplied) to be opened in September 2019 in an area will be included in the recently announced contract tenders for new school buildings; if not, when the contract tender for the permanent buildings for these schools is likely to be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Details supplied: https://www.thejournal.ie/school-building-tender-4917521-Dec2019/ Goatstown Stillorgan Educate Together National School


The permanent buildings for the schools referred to by the Deputy are being delivered under my Department’s Design & Build Programme. Architectural planning for these schools is at an early stage.

Following design development the next stage in the process is an application to the relevant Local Authority for planning permission. The planning permission process will be a key factor for determining the timeline for the delivery of the project.

The primary school to which the Deputy refers is currently located in suitable interim accommodation since September 2019.

The post-primary school for the area referred to by the Deputy will open in September 2020 as scheduled, in suitable interim accommodation.

14 Nov 2019

Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Sold

Uncle Tom’s Cabin has been sold for development, for €3 million. Most likely apartments will be built here, as it’s zoned for residential development. According to this Irish Times article:

“It is understood that the new owners intend to keep Uncle Tom’s Cabin open and trading for the time being, until a final decision is made on the type of scheme for which planning permission will be sought. “

This will be probably be the last Christmas you can enjoy a cozy pint in this long-established pub.

10 Nov 2019

Review of the Strategic Housing Development Process

Some residents may be interested in The Report of the Review Group on the Operation of the Strategic Housing Development process 2017-2019 which was published recently. This was a report compiled to investigate the SHD (Fast-track) planning process, ahead of a possible extension for a further two years. The Residents’ Association made a submission during the public consultation in the summer. We argued against its continuation for various reasons, as did many politicians, community groups etc. This Report has now been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

This report makes many recommendations to improve the process, including a possible “use it or lose it” clause, if the development is not commenced after a period of eighteen months. The Group also recommended increasing response times during the process, hosting the planning details on a planning authority website, not the developers, allowing the public more access to An Bord Pleanala reports, and also increasing the threshold from 100 units to 200 units. There are many other recommendations listed in the document.

Unfortunately, while Minister Eoghan Murphy agreed with the introduction of the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ clause, he rejected suggestions to double the threshold, claiming it would lead to confusion, and to extend the time-frame for public consultation. The Minister will sign an order to implement the changes before the end of the year.

It’s disappointing that the Minister is not taking on board more of the Report’s recommendations. Thanks to Cllr Anne Colgan for sending this on, and thanks to Senator Victor Boyhan for consulting with us, and communicating the Association’s experience and opinion of this SHD process during the recent Joint Oireachtas Committee meeting.

24 Oct 2019

Judicial Review – OLG Development

As you are probably all aware, the developer Durkan applied for planning for the site at the back of the campus via the Strategic Housing Development scheme, the fast-track process. The development is to consist of 132 units, in 3 five storey apartment blocks, 19 houses, a new afterschool building, and a smaller 3 storey apartment block.

At the end of August An Bord Pleanála granted permission for this development in its entirety. There were approximately 50 objections in total – from residents, parents at the schools, various politicians, as well as from the Residents’ Association. The CEO of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council recommended in her report that planning be refused, as the development contravened The County Development Plan. The Council’s argument was that the conditions associated with the “Inst” designation on the zoning were not being followed. However despite this, An Bord Pleanála decided to go ahead and award planning, with no significant conditions attached.

This was a very disappointing decision, and one that will not only have an impact on our community, but also a decision that effectively negates the protection afforded to Institutionally zoned land in the whole of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown.

Judicial Review
There is no facility for appeal with the SHD/ fast track process. It also appears that the Council’s opinion is effectively meaningless. Certainly in this case it did not appear to be a significant weighting factor. The only option to review the decision after permission is granted is to request a Judicial Review at the High Court. The prohibitive cost of this means that most people are not in a position to take this route. Also it is worth noting that a Judicial Review can only be taken on a point of law, not on the planning decisions.

A resident on Friarsland Road is taking the case to the High Court. His case makes various points but the main ones relate to the superceding of the zoning. It is an absurd situation that this resident is effectively defending ALL “Inst” zoned land in the whole of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown. This judgement will be relevant to all land zoned this way across the county. The prohibitive cost means that this resident has no choice but to take the case himself, without legal representation.

Last week leave to apply for a judicial review was granted. An Bord Pleanála and Durkan will most likely be submitting their own arguments, and the case will be for mention in the High Court on December 19th.

The Residents’ Association is fully supportive of this resident’s actions, and applaud him on his remarkable achievement to date.

08 Oct 2019

Community, Cultural and Civic Facilities in Dundrum – Association’s Submission

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council commissioned work on an Action Plan for Community, Cultural and Civic for Dundrum. A public consultation was part of this plan. The Residents’ Association submitted a response outlining the lack of civic, cultural, community, park and leisure facilities in the Plan Area, as well as the poor public cycling and pedestrian provisions, and inadequate permeability between locations.

The areas we focus on in our submission are:

  1. Main Civic, Cultural and Community facility:
    Location: Dundrum Village centre.
  2. Dundrum Park with provision for Indoor and Outdoor Recreation
    Location: Central Mental Hospital (CMH) Site
  3. Improving Liveability by improving walking and Cycling infrastructure
    Location: All

You can download and read this submission here.

08 Oct 2019

Central Mental Hospital – LDA’s Thinking

An eagle-eyed member of the Association’s committee spotted the Land Development Agency’s submission to the recent Dundrum Local Area Plan’s public consultation process. It gives an interesting insight into the LDA’s plans for this site.

From our reading of it, the thinking at the time of the submission seems to be:
1) Keeping and refurbishment of buildings to the north.
2) High housing density (Note, 1,500 units is mentioned but that has since been revised down to 1,200 on the LDA’s website).
3) ‘Connections to the wider community’
4) Minimising car parking and ‘reliance on private car commuting’
5) Addition of 2nd vehicle entrance – ‘For emergency purposes’. 

You can download and view the submission here. (Word .docx, 2.9MB)

12 Sep 2019

Public Consultation – Community, Cultural and Civic Facilities in Dundrum

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has commissioned work on an Action Plan for Community, Cultural and Civic for Dundrum, and that work has already begun.The Action Plan will propose what community, cultural and civic facilities will be needed in the area over the next 20 years.

A public consultation begins on Thursday (September 5th) for a four week period. This is a great opportunity for local people to make the case again for a new Civic Centre at the heart of Dundrum Village, including a modern library and additional community facilities. 

You can find out more here: https://dlrcoco.citizenspace.com/planning/dundrum-community-cultural-civic-action-plan-cccap/. The consultation period runs from Thursday September 5th 2019 to Thursday October 3rd inclusive.

It only takes about 10 minutes to complete, and it is anonymous for private individuals.

Update 8/10/19:
Read the Residents’ Association’s submission here.

11 Sep 2019

Charles Hurst Site – Goatstown Road

It has been reported in the Irish Times today that the 0.84 acre former Charles Hurst car showroom site on the Goatstown Road, has been sold to developer Charles O’Reilly-Hyland for €6.6 million.

It is zoned for residential development, and apparently was sold with the benefit of a feasibility study which indicated the potential for a residential scheme of 75 apartments (subject to planning permission). Will they try for 100 apartments to qualify for the fast-track Strategic Housing Development process? We’ll have to wait and see.