Tuesday 25 September 2007

'Let me flatten €35m home'

BILLIONAIRE businessman Denis O'Brien has gone to An Bord Pleanala in his bid to demolish the exclusive Ballsbridge home he bought last year for €35m, the second highest price ever for a house in Dublin.

After being refused permission by Dublin City Council, Mr O'Brien has now applied to An Bord Pleanala for permission to level the Tudor-style property, Belmont, built in 1904.

It boasts an indoor swimming pool, seven bedrooms, sauna and steam room and a putting green on two-thirds of an acre.

Mr O'Brien wants to replace it with a new detached house, keeping the existing line of the building but extending the living space into the basement as well as into an annex.

Dublin City Council refused permission on the grounds that the scale, form and design of the existing house "contributes to the character and identify of the streetcape on Shrewsbury Road".

The council also said the proposal would conflict with the Dublin City Development Plan 2005-2011 to protect and improve the amenities of residential conservation areas.

Refusing Mr O'Brien permission, the council said the development would "set an undesirable precedent for similar development which would cumulatively undermine the character of a conservation area".

He has now appealed this decision to An Bord Pleanala.

A submission on his behalf to the board says the proposed new house is of a high qualiy of architectural design and materials, and reuses many elements and materials conserved from the existing house.


Mr O'Brien says that the new house will have no negative impact on the character, architectural quality or residential amenity and is also fully compatible with the city development plan.

His 'A-list' neighbours include developer Sean Dunne.

Mr O'Brien already has a several valuable properties in the capital. In 2000 he paid an estimated €9m for a large detached house, also located in Dublin 4.

Irish Independent

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