Decision to refuse apartment development at Rosemount upheld

AN Bord Pleanála has upheld Donegal County Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for 17 apartments in Letterkenny.

Millennium Unit Trust 105 was refused permission for the development in Rosemount Lane by the local authority on the grounds of “over-development” and “excessive density beyond the site’s capacity”.

An appeal was lodged, however An Bord Pleanála has also refused to give the development the go-ahead after determining that the height, massing and internal layout of the project constitutes over-development.


The planning body said the proposed development fails to “integrate with its surrounding built context” and also fails to “provide an adequate level of residential amenity for future occupiers.”

The board said if granted permission it would result in an overly dominant and visually incongruous development in this location and would result in an unacceptable and detrimental impact to the residential amenities of the adjoining properties by way of overlooking, loss of privacy and potential overshadowing.

Another reason for refusal was the substandard apartment sizes, bedroom sizes, insufficient aggregate floor areas for the kitchen, dining and living areas, and lack of sufficient storage space for the majority of apartments. For this reason they said the proposed development fails to provide an acceptable level of residential accommodation in line with the government’s national guidelines.

The board outlined how the proposal was contrary to proper planning and sustainable development because of the demolition of two traditional townhouses which were to be replaced with a “predominantly commercial scaled apartment block with poor levels of natural surveillance at ground floor level”.

“The proposal fails to support or strengthen Rosemount Lane as an important laneway and identified key linkage between Main Street and Pearse Road.”

For this reason they felt it was inconsistent with the relevant provisions of the Donegal County Development Plan 2018-2024.

The proposed development involved the demolition of two derelict two-storey townhouses and outbuildings and the construction of a part four-storey part five-storey apartment building comprising 17 apartments and eight car parking spaces.


When refusing permission Donegal County Council planners said the proposed site in question did not have correct capacity.

In its appeal to An Bord Pleanála, applicant Millennium Unit Trust 105 said it did not accept that the site was constrained.

“This is quite large for a town centre development at 857 square metres,” they said.

“The proposed demolition of the derelict structures would remove a long time eyesore and allow a substantial open site for high density development, similar in height and scale as the adjoining apartment building to the north west to be made possible.”

They continued: “It is not considered that this is an over-development of the site. The proposed development is of similar scale to the adjacent apartment building and will ‘marry’ with the existing scale.”

The applicant felt construction of the 17 apartments was a “worthy and much needed development.”

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