Thursday 18 September 2008

Quinlan waves goodbye to embassy plan

LIFE ON the embassy belt is not all it's cracked up to be, financier Derek Quinlan , centre, learned this week.

Quinlan ran in to some difficulty when trying to revamp the Victorian house he purchased for €8.5 million last year.

Number 43 Ailesbury Road was the Mexican Embassy for over ten years and the home to the German Embassy prior to that.

Quinlan had plans to revamp the semi-detached redbrick and let it out as offices.

Eagle eyed planners at the city council, however had different ideas.

They gave the all clear to Quinlan to extend and refurbish the premises, but tacked on a tricky condition -.- that the house could only be used as an embassy and not as a general offices.

Quinlan appealed this to An Bord Pleanála arguing that the premises has established office use and used listings from Thoms Directory and sworn affidavits from former staff members of the German embassy to bolster his appeal.

Going against the advice of its own inspector, An Bord Pleanála upheld the council's decision and the condition stands.

The established use of the site is as an embassy not office use, stated the planning board.

It's unlikely that the saga has ruffled feathers. Quinlan has bigger fish to fry and is currently tied up building houses in Istanbul. Maybe he'll bump into an ambassador in need of office space on his travels.

The Irish Times

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