Over 700 objections have been lodged against the €466 million 881 unit apartment scheme that Hammerson is proposing to build in Dundrum.
The controversial 'fast track' scheme by subsidiary of UK property giant, Hammerson, Dundrum Retail GP DAC’s proposal includes a "landmark" 16 storey high apartment block at the northernmost point of the site.
However, the scheme is facing widespread local opposition with eight residents' associations and one primary school among the 705 objections to the planned Strategic Housing Development (SHD).
Underlining the depth of local feeling against the scheme, local residents have variously described the scheme in objections as "appalling", "destructive", "a visual catastrophe", "a vertical sprawl", "an eyesore", "a concrete jungle", "monstrous" and "a developer's dream".
The scheme comprises 11 blocks across four "zones" and the developers are seeking an eight year planning permission to complete the ambitious plan.
The scheme is made up of 335 one bed apartments; 85 two-bed three-person apartments; 379 two-bed four-person apartments and 82 three-bed apartments.
Chair of the Kilternan Glenamuck Residents Association, Aileen Eglington, has told the appeals board "it is wrong that a developer can dictate how a full village is developed. Whilst we all recognise that we must have housing for current need, this development is not the answer".
In his objection, local resident Liam Shorten told the board: "I find this proposed scheme appalling, and destructive of the essential character of this area."
Another local resident, Laura Watters, told the board that "the scale of the development is huge and not in line with the area. Tower blocks are not part of any main street in Ireland and do not belong in Dundrum…The views of the mountains and village will be totally ruined."
Local resident Lorcan Cosgrove described the scheme as "a visual catastrophe" while Maire Donovan claimed that the scheme will "completely destroy the character of village".
Another resident, Maria Quigley, told the appeals board "we need a community area that brings local people together, not a vertical sprawl up to 16 stories of apartment blocks squeezed into a suburban environment".
In her objection, Marie Nyhan told the board: "I have been a resident of Dundrum for over 40 years and welcome the development of this site which had been neglected for many years. However, I do not want a concrete jungle that will destroy the character of the village and one that will go down in history as a major planning mistake".
Local resident Mary Ellen Greene told the board that "not only is the proposed development not somewhere I could envisage living, but the impact on the area in general makes me think that I do not want to live here at all. The height and scale of the proposed blocks are monolithic in nature and so close together that the impact on light will be devastating".
Maya Naveh told the board that "the plan will block the view to Dublin mountains from many vantage points, and is not on a relatable, human scale.
"The proposed development is a developer's dream. But An Bord Pleanála has a responsibility to consider not just the provision of more places to live but how people will live in those communities," Ms Naveh added.
Minister for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan added her views to the objections made.
"Many local residents have contacted me as their constituency TD to voice their concerns, and suggest alterations, regarding this proposed development," Minister Madigan said in her submission.
"In particular, they have expressed their worry that the proposed height and density of the development will place undue pressure on local infrastructure, such as public transport, roads, and schools.
"Residents are especially worried that the proposed sixteen-storey height of one of the apartment blocks is excessive and not in keeping with the surrounding area," Ms Madigan added.
She has asked the appeals board "to give strong consideration to the concerns of all local residents, and takes their views into account, when the Board makes its decision".
As part of a comprehensive planning submission lodged with the scheme, BMA Planning states that "the proposed development of the Dundrum Village site is an appropriate response for this "Major Town Centre" site and would provide high quality residential and supporting village centre uses at a central and accessible location in need of regeneration".
The designers of the scheme state that the vision is to deliver a contemporary and vibrant place to live, underpinned by the re-establishment of the traditional shopping thoroughfare along Dundrum Main Street.
The submission states that the scheme will create new public spaces within and through the site, alongside a series of connected and landscaped courtyard developments.
A decision is due on the application in July.