A GROUP of Northside residents are planning to go to the High Court for a judicial review of a decision approving a strategic housing development (SHD) in Castleknock.
Despite several objections and submissions from local residents and politicians, An Bord Pleanala decided last December to grant permission to Bartra Property to build a 186-unit co-living development on the site of Brady’s pub on the Old Navan Road.
That decision came as a shock to a local community group who had successfully challenged a previous application in the High Court last June.
Now they say they plan to go back to the High Court and they are hoping the wider community can help them.
Local resident Peter Griffin, spokesperson for the Old Navan Road Planning Alliance Group, explained to Northside People why they plan to challenge An Bord Pleanála once more.
“We feel we have been left with no option but to challenge the Board’s decision,” he said.
“We are doing this because we fear that if we lose then a precedent could be set which could have serious implications for not only the D.15 or Northside area’s but nationwide.
“If this co-living development is allowed go ahead surely it will have to be allowed in other places too.
“The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme doesn’t finish until the start of next year so it’s very important we stop this for the sake of other communities.
“We are looking for support, from not only our surrounding neighbours but from all over the country, in expressing our objection to the glaring democratic deficit in the current planning process.
“This isn’t just a co-living problem, the current planning process, unless challenged by individual cases such as ours, will result in the wrong housing being built in the wrong areas, and priced at the wrong prices – at an enormous future environmental and social cost.
“We want people to know we are not opposed to housing, it’s vitally important people understand that.
“What we are opposed to is this planned co-living scheme.
“We would rather see housing built on that site, preferably affordable housing, so families could settle down here to live in this homely, great community.
“Bringing a judicial review to the High Court is not cheap and is set to cost around €80,000.
“We’re going to try and raise 75% of the projected required funding, but we now need really the public’s help.
“So, with this in mind we have set up a GoFundMe account to try and raise the other €20,000 of the costs for court.
“Any surplus we accumulate will go back into a fund to help other communities who are challenging SHD applications.”
Mr Griffin said that he believes APB’s decision to grant permission for the Castleknock co-living development is even contrary to Government guidelines.
“It really is unbelievable that the Board could sanction this when even the Minister for Housing has said that it is his belief that “inappropriate locations away from the core city centre have undermined the concept” of co-living.
“These developments were meant for urban areas close to the city centre, not suburban areas like ours.
“We feel what we’re doing is the right thing to do.
“If we can be successful here it will set a tone for the rest of the area.”