Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Ballsbridge house decision challenged

DEVELOPER DEREK Quinlan has brought a legal action to overturn a decision by An Bord Pleanála that a house on Ailesbury Road, Dublin, which was bought by him for €8.5 million may only be used as an embassy.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly admitted the action to the Commercial Court yesterday and listed it for hearing on February 17th. The case relates to 43 Ailesbury Road, a protected structure used as an embassy since 1964. It has served as the Mexican embassy and the German embassy.

Mr Quinlan bought the house in October 2007 and within days applied for permission for refurbishment and extension of the existing offices in the premises.

His applications sought approval for, among other matters, removal of a brick pergola at the rear of the property and of gates at the side; construction of a single-storey extension at the rear; replacement of all facing bricks on front and side elevations and reslating of the roof using existing slates and matching replacements.

Mr Quinlan said the acquisition of the property cost him €8.5 million, plus €765,000 in stamp duty. The estimated costs of the works for which planning permission was sought was a further €1.67 million, excluding the cost of furniture and fittings. In an affidavit, he said he had intended to use the premises as offices and the premises represented "a very significant investment" by him.

On January 16th, Dublin City Council indicated it would grant permission on certain conditions, including that the entire premises "shall be solely for use as an embassy". Its reason for that condition was "to control development, to protect the amenities of this residential conservation area as zoned in the current development plan and to facilitate the zoning objectives of that plan".

Irish Times


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