FINGAL PLACE PLANNING MATTERS
PLANNING INFORMATION MEETING
Last Monday (July 5th), I arranged for Fingal Place residents to meet with senior planning officials from Dublin City Council to discuss the planning application in greater detail and ask questions of those officials to secure further insight into planning process and how they and you could best utilise that process to prevent the wrong type of development from occurring. I know other local representatives had sought such a meeting, but as Chairman of the Council’s Planning Committee, I wanted to ensure as many Fingal Place residents could be facilitated in engaging directly with experts from the Planning Department that could help in providing advice on how to make a submission or lodge an observation on the planning application. The meeting heard that:
- NO pre-planning consultations with the Planning Department of Dublin City Council prior to the application being lodged – this is unusual and very much now the exception as opposed to the norm.
- The opinion was offered that had such pre-planning consultations taken place, particular concerns about the application, raised by residents in attendance, would have been flagged by the Planning Department.
- For example, the application did not address the issue of access for fire and emergency services. Had a pre-planning consultation occurred, this issue would have been raised.
- The quality of the documentation lodged in support of the application was poor and didn’t address a lot of the potential issues of concern, again a pre-planning consultation meeting or two would have highlighted these issues.
Other issues raised during the meeting, include:
- The legal uncertainty regarding accessibility of the boundary wall to the site for adjoining properties along Fingal Place.
- The potential impact on the existing buildings along Fingal Place by any construction, demolition or pile-driving works.
- The massing and scale of the proposed development given the proximity of the site to existing homes on Fingal Place, some of which are nearing 200 years old.
- The failure of the development to blend in with the existing character of Fingal Place and the lack of any attempt to harmonise the proposed development with the local neighbourhood.
- The potential loss of privacy and natural light on properties immediately adjoining the development site but also further along Fingal Place.
While the above list represents some of the issues raised during the Planning Information meeting with the officials from the Planning Department, I must stress that it is not an exhaustive list.
Given the concerns raised by residents and from the information provided by the officials in response to questions I posed on behalf of residents who were unable to attend, lodged an observation on the planning application myself. That submission is attached below and ultimately calls on the Planning Department of Dublin City Council to “reject this application outright on the basis of the failure of the proposal to make the principles of good planning and development.”
I hope this information is of assistance to you. However, if you have any particular questions or queries arising from the details provided, please come back to me by email at RayMcAdam@gmail.com.
Observation on Planning Application (2914/21) submitted by Councillor Ray McAdam
To whom it may concern.
I write to offer my views on the planning application (2914/21) relating to the site at the rear of 1A Prussia Street, off Fingal Place, Dublin 7.
Further to the Planning Information meeting, organised by me as Chair of the City Council’s Planning & Urban Form Strategic Policy Committee, I want to begin by stating that is disappointing that the applicant failed to engage with the Planning Department of Dublin City Council prior to the lodging of this planning application. This failure, in my view, highlights that the application itself and the documentation lodged with the Council in support of it to be of substandard nature and does not sufficient information with regards to:
- Fire Safety
- An adequate sunlight and shadow analysis
- Legal certainty regarding the wall bordering the proposed development site and ownership rights
- Any substantive attempt to justify how this development proposal meets the relevant sections of the Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022, particularly Chapter 16.10.4 relating to the creation of ‘Sustainable Neighbourhoods’.
Therefore, it is my contention that this application be rejected outright and that in doing so, the Planning Department condition any future application for the site to require pre-planning discussions with the Planning Department in advance of any formal application being submitted for consideration.
With regards the specifics of the planning application, the sheer mass and scale of the development on a site that is located next to a cul-de-sac involving 20 townhouses is simply not in keeping with the area and in my view, completely fails to adhere to the policies and objectives contained in Chapter 16.10.4. of the Development Plan relating to the provision of Sustainable Neighbourhoods and communities. From the drawings provided and the materials proposed for use do not in any way seek to ensure this development proposal will be in keeping or in harmony with the existing neighbourhood but rather will distort the character of Fingal Place and ultimately change it forever.
Should an emergency occur, the applicant fails to provide any clear guidance as to how emergency vehicles and services will be able to access the proposed building. I am of the view, that such a matter would have been teased through during a pre-planning consultation with the development authority, i.e., Dublin City Council. The fact that the applicant has failed to do this, shows to me its lack of interest of getting a development proposal right but rather simply get permission for any ‘old building’ and ‘see how it goes’. In my view, this runs fundamentally in an opposite direction to the principles of good planning and therefore, the application should be rejected.
I would agree with those that have submitted concerns about the impact of this development proposal on properties immediately adjoining the site in question. I share the contention that the development being proposed as part of this planning application would over-shadow, most, if not all the street. The two properties immediately adjoining the site share a nine-metre-high boundary wall. The doorway which is proposed for entrance to the development would have a detrimental impact on the ability of those householders to enjoy natural light as protected and provided for under the Development Standards Chapter in the Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022. As for the concerns about the loss of any privacy from this development, again I would contend that this development strips of those householders of such a right and once again, I believe the application to be in breach of fundamental policies and objectives as provided for under the Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022.
During the recent Planning Information meeting organised by me for residents, concerns were raised about the impact of demolition and construction works on buildings that are located so close to the development site. These buildings, homes of residents who have lived in the area most of their adult lives date back approximately 200 years and there is a concern that the type of construction work that may be required will negatively impact those properties. I would contend, that in the event that the Planning Department see fit to grant planning permission, that prior to ANY works starting on site, the applicant would be conditioned to provide a structural survey of every property on Fingal Place that householders would retain and enable them to quantify any damage done to their homes as a result of the works on the development site. Notwithstanding this formal request, I believe the same argument can be made to justify not granting planning permission in the first place for a such development as sought here.
In conclusion, I believe this application is ill-thought through, lacks the relevant information required of the Planning Authority to be able to make a determination, fails to consider the location of the site and its proximity to existing buildings and homes that are of particular importance to the locality and therefore, planning permission should not be granted and that the Planning Department reject this application outright on the basis of the failure of the proposal to make the principles of good planning and development.
I ask that the Planning Department take these views into consideration when making a final determination on the application.
City Councillor – North Inner City
Fine Gael Leader – Dublin City Council
Chairman – Planning & Urban Form Strategic Policy Committee
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee