An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to contentious plans for a €360m housing development near Donabate in north Dublin.
The appeals board has granted a ten-year planning permission to Aledo Donabate Ltd for the 1,323-unit scheme on a site close to the Dublin-Belfast rail-line.
The Corballis East Strategic Housing Development (SHD) is thought to be the second biggest such scheme in the State, second only to the 1,600-unit Holy Cross development in Drumcondra.
Aledo Donabate initially lodged plans in August 2021 for 1,365 units for a site 250m south of Donabate town centre and around 50m south of Donabate train station.
The appeals board has granted planning permission despite some local opposition and a recommendation from Fingal County Council planners to refuse planning permission.
In a comprehensive report lodged with An Bord Pleanála, Fingal County Council stated that the scheme would set "a poor precedent" for similar development for Donabate.
Documents released by the appeals board show that the inspector in the case, Rachel Gleave O'Connor initially recommended a refusal to the scheme in November 2021 as part of a 166-page report into the case.
However, instead of issuing a refusal in December 2021, the appeals board directed that an oral hearing be held into the grounds of refusal by Ms Gleave O’Connor.
Part of the grounds of refusal issued by Ms Gleave O’Connor was the impact the scheme would have on the operation of the Dublin Belfast railway.
In response to Ms Gleave O’Connor’s concerns, the developers lodged revised plans and the board has omitted 42 units from the overall permission in the interests of the safe operation of the Dublin-Belfast rail-line and also in the interests of visual and residential amenity.
The permitted scheme comprises 625 apartments, 352 duplex apartments and 346 houses on a 43 hectare site.
The development is to take place across 26.7 hectares while public space will total 16.3 hectares.
In her report on the revised proposals put before the oral hearing, Board Inspector, Rachel Gleave O’Connor stated that she was cognisant of concerns by observers and Fingal County Council over the scheme’s visual impact.
Ms Gleave O’Connor stated that the scheme would represent a change to the landscape setting.
"However, it is necessary to also consider this change in light of the national planning policy approach which requires a compact growth model that focuses efficient housing delivery in appropriate areas," she added.
The housing scheme lies adjacent to the Dublin-Belfast rail line and Irish Rail told the oral hearing that they have no safety or expansion concerns after revisions made by Aledo to the scheme including the omission of a mixed use building.
Ms Gleave O'Connor said that the changes made by Aledo mean that the scheme "would not negatively impact the safe operation of the railway network".
The scheme will provide 132 in social and affordable housing at an estimated cost of €35.8 million with the average estimated cost of each home at €271,646.
With planning permission now granted, the developers and Fingal County Council can now enter formal negotiations on reaching a final price on the social and affordable homes.
The appeals board granted planning permission after concluding that the scheme "would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity".