FINANCIER DERMOT Desmond has appealed to An Bord Pleanála against developer Seán Dunne’s plans to demolish and rebuild Hume House, a 1960s office block in Ballsbridge, Dublin.
Mr Desmond, a Ballsbridge local who opposed Mr Dunne’s high-rise scheme for the former Jurys and Berkeley Court hotels, said the designs for Hume House were “ugly” and the proposed materials appeared to be chosen because they were cheap.
The businessman is one of several appellants, including An Taisce and local residents associations, against the decision of Dublin City Council to grant permission for the offices which range in height up to nine storeys.
Hume House was one of the high profile purchases made by Mr Dunne in 2005, including the hotel buildings now operating as D4 Hotels and supermarket.
However, unlike the mixed use proposal for neighbouring hotels site, plans for which are before the city council for a second time, the plans for Hume House envisage a similar usage and scale as the existing building.
In his submission to An Bord Pleanála, Mr Desmond describes the development as “an ugly insipid design that is reminiscent of poor 1960s Brutalist type architecture”. The facade treatment and the quality of the design are both “poor” and the materials detailed in the application “seem to be chosen for their cost effectiveness as opposed to their design interest”, he said.
In their submissions, the Pembroke Road Association and the Lansdowne and District Residents’ Association both put forward the view that the application was being made so the property could be given the highest possible value by Nama.
An Taisce submitted that the height of the proposed development was excessive. It states that while in terms of storeys the heights broadly match those of Hume House, the proposed building is significantly higher. An Bord Pleanála is due to make a decision on the application next July.