Save a Swords heritage landmark from demolition

Please help us lobby An Bord Pleanála to reduce the size of the proposed 146 apartments for this site and protect our beautiful medieval town.

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The window for objections closes on Monday May 9th 2022 @ 5:30pm

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The Proposal

For more renders & drawings, see

Key Issues

An overview of key objectionable issues

Demolition of a Landmark

The iconic pub is a symbol of Swords and should be retained. Swords masterplan 2009 (p53) explicitly states "buildings in this area must be of distinctive character...", yet this proposal aims to replace this beautiful distinctive landmark with a concrete block or apartments.

Height & Density

Swords masterplan 2009 (p53) restricts heights to 2-4 storeys on this site. While this masterplan is old, it does have a detailed vision for this site which has not been superseded in subsequent masterplans. Additionally, this 2009 masterplan was explicitly cited by ABP in their refusal in 2020.

Protecting Views & Heritage

This proposal is on a heritage site where views must be protected. It is not a "town centre" site on all sides. The proposal should make significant effort to respect each area it borders. Swords masterplan 2009 (p53) states that: "No buildings will obscure views into the Ward River Valley Park and St. Columba’s Church and Round Tower"

Effect on Community

The development has more 1-bed apartments than any other apartment type (69/146). This would seem to target single commuters to the city rather than families or even couples, who, now more than ever require a second bedroom to use as an office.

Aesthetic Treatment

The modern beige finish on the proposed development is out of character with the emblematic stonework shown on almost every other building on Church road and is contrary to the overall aesthetic of Swords as a heritage town.

Public Space

An Bord Pleanála stated the proposal should achieve a "public space" in line with the masterplan for the area. The space proposed falls well short of this goal.

Cars, Traffic & parking

There are 109 car park spaces proposed for up to 464 people. Given the minimal public transport infrastructure in Swords, this realistically means cars parked in surrounding estates and increased traffic on the ever-busy Church Road.

Flooding & Drainage

An Bord Pleanála refused the previous iteration of the development because of it's risk to the drainage and waterways of the area including potential environmental damage to the ward river and estuary downstream.

How to Object

1. Download An Bord Pleanála’s template form

2. Choose your key topics write them in your own words. See guide

3. Save your document as a PDF from Microsoft Word

4. Click here and follow the steps to upload your PDF

The case number is 313223. Objections cost €20.

Refusal in 2020

An Bord Pleanála refused the previous application, in 2020 noting the following issues with the proposal:

  1. The Board is not satisfied, in light of potential flood risk, and on the basis of the information provided with the application, including the Natura Impact Statement, that the proposed development individually, or in combination with other plans or projects would not adversely affect the integrity of European sites Malahide Estuary Special Protection Area (site code 004025) and Malahide Estuary Special Area of Conservation (site code 000205), in view of the sites’ conservation objectives. In such circumstances the Board is precluded from granting permission.
  2. Having regard to the use of a bespoke river flood model rather than the Office of Public Works Fingal East Meath Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study (FEMFRAMS) model in the Site Specific Flood Risk Assessment submitted with the application, to the location of all of Block B and part of Block A within flood Zones A or B as per FEMFRAMS mapping, and to the extent of the differences in design flows between the FEMFRAMS and the Site Specific Flood Risk Assessment, the Board is not satisfied that the proposal has been subject to an appropriate flood risk assessment that would satisfy criterion number 2 of the Justification Test for development management set out in section 5.15 of the Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines issued by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in November 2009. A grant of permission would, therefore, be contrary to those guidelines and would be contrary to the proper planning and development of the area. ABP-306771-20 Board Order Page 4 of 4
  3. It is considered that the proposed development does not achieve several key objectives of the Swords Masterplan 2009, with specific reference to:
    1. the preservation of views from Swords Main Street of St. Columba’s Church and Round Tower to the north of the site,
    2. a successful interaction with Swords Main Street and the creation of a public space at this location, and
    3. the creation of a linkage from Swords Main Street to Ward River Valley Park. In addition, due to its design and layout at the northern end of the site, the development does not achieve a satisfactory interface with the Ward River Valley Park and, due to its design, does not achieve a satisfactory interface with Church Road. The development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Spread The Word!

The window for objections closes on Monday May 9th 2022 @ 5:30pm

Please share with your friends & family right now!