Friday, 12 September 2008

Ballsbridge development will be 'half-built disaster'

Developer Seán Dunne’s high rise scheme for Ballsbridge will be a half-built eyesore that will be “a development disaster for years to come”, An Bord Pleanála has heard.

Patrick Dowling, a local resident and a banker, told the public hearing on the proposed development that, in his professional opinion, in the current economic climate, no bank or syndicate of banks would be capable of financing the whole project.

The scheme could only be financed and built on a piecemeal basis, he said. “This gives rise to my gravest concern that for years the site will only partially be developed and half-built and so will become the largest construction eyesore in the country”

One side of Landsdowne Road would have a “sparkling” new stadium while the other would be a “development disaster for years to come” he told the hearing.

Mr Dunne's plans to build a high-rise complex, including a 37-storey tower, on the site of the former Jurys and Berkeley Court hotels in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

The planning board received a record 127 appeals in relation to the planning application. While several local residents and residents' groups have opposed the development, 87 of the appeals are in favour of the development.

Dublin City Council granted permission last March for the bulk of the development, but rejected the 37-storey building on the grounds of excessive height.

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