Thursday 24 May 2007

Dunne hit with another blow to building plans

DEVELOPER Sean Dunne has been hit with another blow to his plans to build homes in leafy Dublin 4.

An Bord Pleanala yesterday refused permission to the Carlow businessman to build houses off Serpentine Avenue in Ballsbridge. It is the second time in recent weeks Mr Dunne has been set back in relation to a number of planned developments he has for the country's most expensive suburb.

Just last week, city councillors rejected a plan which would have allowed him build a 32-storey high-rise apartment and hotel complex on the Jury's Hotel/Berkeley Court site, which he bought for a reported €380m in 2005.


Yesterday, An Bord Pleanala rejected an appeal from the 52-year-old businessman seeking permission to build four three-bedroom semi-detached houses on a site behind Serpentine Avenue.

The application, lodged in the name of Mr Dunne, his wife Gayle and children Steven, Elaine and John, was rejected by Dublin City Council last December as it would involve overdevelopment of the site.

The council also ruled that it would impact on neighbouring properties because of overshadowing, and there was not enough open space included.

The grounds for refusal in Mr Dunne's appeal were the same as those handed down by the council, but it also ruled that the proposal could interfere with the width of a laneway at the rear of the site.

"The proposed development would be contrary to the sustainable development of the area," its inspector noted.

Now Mr Dunne finds himself sitting on a large land bank in Dublin 4 with no guarantee he can make a return from it.

On May 15 last, city councillors rejected a draft area plan for Ballsbridge which would have allowed high-rise development in the area. But the decision might yet be overturned as the decision to accept or reject an area plan must be made by a full council meeting.

Paul Melia
Irish Independent

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