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Lucan: Bord Pleanala sees council changes to Adamstown plan as ‘excessive’
An Bord Pleanala approved most of the council’s proposed amendments to the Adamstown SDZ, but would not agree to lower the housing density

AN Bord Pleanala has recently opted to stop South Dublin County Council from implementing what they considered to be “excessive” reductions to housing density in Adamstown.
The board approved most of the council’s proposed amendments to the Adamstown Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), but would not agree to lower densities, which would have seen houses only built in Adamstown’s larger estates.
Adamstown SDZ was created in 2003 with the aim of delivering more than 10,000 homes, schools, shops, community and leisure facilities and public transport, but since the recession development in the town has suffered a near-cessation.
In addition, the delivery of these facilities depends on the numbers of housing units built by developers and the council is now eager to kick-start development in Adamstown once again.
The idea behind lowering the density of development in the town by 20% was that it would have doubled the proportion of houses to apartments. The council’s focus was to reduce the number of units needed for facilities to be built and to increase the speed of infrastructure provision.
According to the council, amending the Adamstown SDZ to reduce densities by 20% would still have delivered 6,655 to 8,145 homes, but 66% would be houses and the remaining 34% would be apartments and duplex units.
Lucan Cllr William Lavelle (FG) said: “In deciding to overrule changes to reduce densities at the Adamstown strategic development zone, An Bord Pleanala went against the advice of professional planners of South Dublin County Council; against the ‘considered opinion’ of the National Transport Authority, against the democratic decision of elected councillors; against the recommendation of their own expert planning inspector (who presided over an extensive oral hearing); not to mention going against the 2009 statutory national planning guidelines on residential densities.”
Palmerstown Cllr Guss O’Connell (Ind) also expressed his disappointment “at the decisions arrived at by the board in adjudicating on the Adamstown SDZ review. During the last days of the last council, we put a lot of thought, public consultation and effort at both Lucan level and at County Hall level into the review of the Adamstown SDZ.
“I really believed that we had come up with a scheme that reflects both the needs of our times and well into the future,” said Cllr O’Connell.
A planning board spokesperson defended the decision, saying: “While recognising the current concerns regarding economic conditions, viability of construction and property market preferences, the board considered that some of the reductions in density proposed would be excessive and would erode the long-term potential for delivery of a high quality urban environment at an overall medium to high density.”

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