JP MCMANUS has been given permission to build a lake on the grounds of his new mansion in Martinstown, Co Limerick.
Limerick County Council was initially unhappy with the scale of the project. However, the local authority has since approved the development of a scaled-down lake.
The size of the lake for which planning permission has been approved is 5,500sq m, which is just under 1.25 acres.
Originally, the lake was to cover an area of 31,000sq m – almost 2½ times the size of Croke Park – and its border was to resemble that of the Limerick county boundary.
However, when plans for the lake were lodged with the county council earlier this year, planners said the size and shape of the lake would not blend into the local countryside.
The local authority requested that the applicant, Noreen McManus – Mr McManus’s wife – supply a revised version of the plan minimising the use of artificial embankments and using gently sloping grades. This week the council granted permission for the elaborate project subject to 11 conditions.
One of the conditions is that no motorised vehicles be used on the lake and that the proposed boathouse, which is to be constructed nearby, must not be used for any other activity apart from those relating to the lake.
Another condition is that no fish can be stocked in the lake without prior written approval of the planning authority.
The council also specifies that the proposed lake must not reduce the outflow to the nearby Knockannacarta stream.
The house is still under construction but is expected to be completed before the end of the year. The 40,000sq ft property has nine bedrooms and features a 200-seat cinema, gym with 18-metre pool, sauna, steam room and hot tubs, a vast wine cellar and a “panic room”.
The house, which resembles the stately homes built in the 17th and 18th centuries, is about 27 times the size of an average modern home.
Two years ago, Mr McManus gave the local Staker Wallace GAA grounds a substantial sum for its grounds and built a replacement venue for it nearby with a pavilion and playing pitches.
The original GAA ground had a very strategic view of the McManus estate.
The Irish Times