MULTI-millionaire developer Sean Dunne can now turn a residential apartment block into rooms exclusively for students, following a Circuit Civil Court judgment yesterday.
Mr Justice Esmond Smyth said Merrion Grove Management Company Ltd, Stillorgan, Dublin, had since December last unreasonably witheld its consent to the interior redevelopment of the block.
John Nolan, counsel for the company, said an application by a Dunne-controlled company, Mountbrook Homes Ltd, for a change of use permission was still before An Bord Pleanala.
Judge Smyth decided that for several years past, the management company for the residents in the Merrion Grove apartments complex, while witholding its consent, had not done so unreasonably because Mountbrook Homes had breached a lease covenant in starting redevelopment works without seeking a consent.
Holding that the company had unreasonably witheld its consent only since December 18 last, he awarded full legal costs to the residents' body against Mountbrook Homes.
The court had heard that Sean Dunne senior, through Mountbrook Homes, had bought the block of eight apartments for the benefit of his family, Sean junior, Stephen and their sister, Elaine.
The company had started converting six of the flats into student accommodation without consent of the residents group.
The Dunne-controlled company, with an address at Stewards House, St Helen's Wood, Booterstown, Co Dublin, has since been granted planning permission to carry out the interior redevelopment of the block. The only outstanding permission is of change of use.
© Irish Independent