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Wildlife at risk Pat Kenny nursing home and badger planning row continues as developer lodges appeal

The fate of the local badgers, a wild protected species, is set to play a crucial element in the row before An Bord Pleanala


Pat Kenny at Bulloch Harbour in Dalkey.  Photo: Steve Humphreys

Pat Kenny at Bulloch Harbour in Dalkey. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Pat Kenny at Bulloch Harbour in Dalkey. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The nursing home and 'badger' planning battle between broadcaster, Pat Kenny and developers in Dalkey is to continue.

This follows Bartra Capital appealing to An Bord Pleanala  Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a two to five storey nursing home on a site beside the Dalkey home of the Newstalk presenter, Pat Kenny.

Commenting on the Bartra move to appeal the Council’s decision to refuse planning for the 104 bedroom nursing home, Mr Kenny said on Friday: "The issues outlined in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s refusal should be very difficult to overcome.”

This is the second time that Bartra has appealed a Council decision to refuse planning permission for the nursing home at Harbour Rd, Bulloch Harbour.

The developers appealed a previous refusal on March 19th last only to withdraw the appeal on March 26th and put the application before the Council once more.

Mr Kenny stated on Friday: “Quite frankly, we are perplexed as to why they withdrew their last appeal, only to lodge a virtually identical proposal.”

The scheme involved the demolition of Maple Tree House, Harbour Rd, Bulloch Harbour.

Bartra purchased the property for €3.17m on just under an acre in July 2018. A new entry into the Property Price Register shows that Maple House was sold for €1.95m on May 7th this year.

However, a spokeswoman for Bartra confirmed on Friday: "Bartra Group is the sole owner of all of the subject lands.”

The Council refused planning permission for the 104 bedroom nursing home across a number of grounds last month after Pat and Kathy Kenny along with other households in the area lodged objections.

The fate of the local badgers, a wild protected species, is set to play a crucial element in the row before An Bord Pleanala.

This followed a Government heritage watchdog in the planning area, the Development Applications Unit (DAU) lodging a comprehensive submission with the Council where it endorsed the fears of the Kennys for the underground home of the local badger family if the nursing home scheme does go ahead.

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In their submission, Pat and Kathy Kenny claimed that the “straightforward commercially driven enterprise cannot justify killing the badgers of Bulloch Harbour”.

Last month, Mr Kenny commented: “A lot of the time when you read about these objections, you say ‘this is Nimbyism - a snail or a seagull or whatever’ but this is real and that is why we are delighted that this has been writ large by the DAU.”

He said: “We did say before that this planned nursing home is like Cinderella’s slipper and the ugly sister trying to cram the big foot into it and that is what they have been trying to do”.

As part of preparation in lodging the application, Bartra submitted a Badger Conservation Plan which stated that once proposed mitigation measures have been implemented for the local badgers, the proposed nursing home “will not have a significant impact on the (badger) sett structure”.

However, the Kennys disagreed with the conclusion of the Badger Conservation Plan and instead claimed in their objection that “what is proposed by the applicants as mitigation (of the badger sett) will result in extermination”.

The Kennys claimed that the excavation for the nursing home building at the southern end of the site would destroy the sett “and with it, the badger family”.

The Kennys stated that any destruction of the badger sett would be  "cruel and unconscionable.”

The DAU  stated that it seems unlikely that the various elements of the nursing home scheme can be constructed without encroachment on, and at least the partial destruction of the badger sett, probably including its main chambers.

As part of their objection concerning the badgers, the Kennys stated that they are in the fortunate and unique position of having an active breeding badger sett “within the grounds of our home”.

They stated that the badgers have been there for in excess of 20 years.

The Kennys revealed: “During this time, we have let them be and kept an eye on them. We have been rewarded over the years with the sight of young badger cubs playing.

They added: “It is not just our family, but the entire neighbourhood, particularly the children, who enjoy these shy nocturnal creatures.”

Fears for the future of the badgers was just one element of the comprehensive Kenny objection against the nursing home.

The Council refused planning permission to the Bartra plan after finding that the proposed nursing home “would adversely impact on the residential amenity of adjacent properties by reason of overlooking and overbearing appearance”.

The Council also refused planning as the proposal “would detract from the existing visual and residential amenities of the area, would depreciate the value of property in the vicinity, and if permitted, set an undesirable precedent for similar development in the area”.

Bartra already has planning permission for an apartment scheme on the nursing home site and can advance that scheme if the company doesn't secure planning permission for the nursing home.

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