An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to Cairn Homes for their €338m apartment complex plan for former RTÉ land at Montrose in Dublin 4. 

The house builder has secured planning permission for the 611 apartment plan – in nine apartment blocks ranging from four to 10 storeys in height along with three townhouses – in spite of strenuous local opposition. 

In total, 19 objections were lodged against the plan including ones from the Ailesbury Road Residents Association, the Austrian embassy and Ailesbury Road resident Pat Desmond, wife of billionaire, Dermot Desmond. 

Ms Desmond along with two other Ailesbury Road residents also brought an unsuccessful High Court action concerning the appeal board's handling of the fast track Strategic Housing Development (SHD) application. 

Mr Desmond has also been a vocal opponent of the plan describing the scheme as "Ballymun Towers South Dublin" in a letter to Dublin city councillors. 

However, the appeals board has ruled that the proposal would constitute an acceptable quantum and density of development in this accessible urban location.

It also said the proposal would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area and would be acceptable in terms of urban design, height and quantum of development. 

The appeals board has attached 29 conditions to the decision. 

Senior Planning Inspector with the appeals board, Sarah Moran, recommended in a 162 page report that planning permission be granted. 

"While the increased height contrasts with the surrounding residential and institutional developments, it represents a reasonable response to its context and is stepped down at site boundaries to reduce impacts on adjacent properties and protected structures," Ms Moran said.

Ms Moran stated that the overall layout includes good quality public amenity space.

"I am satisfied that the development will not result in significant adverse impacts on residential amenities such as would warrant a refusal of permission," she added. 

Ms Moran stated that the scheme "will deliver a high quality residential development at a serviced site". 

The decision comes more than three years after Cairn Homes paid RTÉ €107.5m for the 8.64 acre site. 

The planning permission now paves the way for Cairn Homes to enter talks with Dublin City Council over its proposal to sell 61 of the apartments in the plan to the city council for €30.17m to comply with social housing obligations. 

The documentation lodged with the application puts a value of €521,377 on the two bed apartments and €472,797 on the one bed apartments. 

The apartments put forward by Cairn are made up of 37 one bedroom apartments and and 24 two bed apartments and Part V apartments are to be located in one eight-storey block in the scheme. 

The appeals board gave the plan the go ahead after a 67 page planner's report from Dublin City Council recommended that planning permission be granted for the "Project Montrose" plan. 

The planners recommended that planning permission be granted in spite of a number of members of Dublin City Council expressing "serious reservations" over the plan. 

The city council planners stated that they agree with the developers that the location allows for additional building height along the Stillorgan Road, given the precedent for taller buildings along the road. 

In their objection, Ms Desmond along with former Irish Sugar managing director Chris Comerford and businessman John Gleeson, stated that the scheme for the site at RTÉ's campus is "seriously flawed" and must be rejected. 

The three residents initiated in March a separate High Court challenge against the legality of the legislation underpinning the Government fast track SHD system. 

Planning documentation lodged by Cairn Homes with the application states that Project Montrose represents "a once in a lifetime opportunity for a landmark development in one of Dublin's most desirable neighbourhoods". 

It went on to say that the scheme "offers a unique vision for sustainable development in a parkland setting" and will provide for a series of taller "villa" style buildings fronting the Stillorgan Road with a perimeter of lower "pavilion" buildings along the rear boundary.  

Planning consultants Avison Young stated that the design rationale for the proposal "is to provide a landmark residential development delivering a new urban neighbourhood with increased height and density and high quality urban frontage on a gateway to Dublin city".