TEN YEARS after buying the former Chester Beatty Library site on Dublin’s exclusive Shrewsbury Road, O’Malley Homes and Developments has finally been given permission to build seven three-storey over basement houses there.
The decision by An Bord Pleanála marks the end of one of the longest running planning sagas in the city which started in 1999 when the Galway developers bought the site of almost one-acre for €9.14 million. It was originally refused permission for 13 apartments but later got approval for seven units. A subsequent application to vary the permission to allow the same number of apartments in a two and three-storey building also got the green light but, when the company later opted for a four-storey block to accommodate seven apartments, it was again met with a refusal. Finally the developer changed tack and went for the seven houses which have now been approved.
Myles O’Malley, who heads up the company, said yesterday they were “absolutely thrilled and delighted to have got planning permission for seven houses on what is not only Dublin’s best road but one of the best roads in the world.”
Most objections to the plans by O’Malley came from neighbours on the road. The most recent objectors were Stephen MacKenzie, John Dunne, and the Shrewsbury Road Residents Association. O’Malley plans to begin site work towards the end of 2010 and, depending on when the market recovers, to finish the houses within a two-year timeframe.
The three-storey houses will vary in size from 348–557sq m (3,750–6,000sq ft). Each house will have a large basement with private garaging for two cars and a rear garden. The permission also allows for 13 visitor car-parking spaces, bicycle parking and a store at basement level.
Architects McCrossan O’Rourke Manning say the form and design of the houses has been influenced by the work of the early 20th century “arts and crafts” architects and in particular by large private houses by Edwin Lutyens and Charles Voysey. The characteristic trademarks include complex roof profiles, elongated chimneys and projecting bays and dormers and mullioned ribbon windows.