Thursday 13 November 2008

Dermot Desmond appeals David Daly's D4 plans

BUSINESSMAN DERMOT Desmond is opposing yet another proposal for development in Ballsbridge.

A high profile opponent of developer Seán Dunne's proposal for a 37-storey tower on the Jurys/Berkeley Court site, he is now appealing developer David Daly's proposal to redevelop nearby Franklin House on Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 to An Bord Pleanála.

Among the grounds for appealing the scheme, which involves knocking the office block and replacing it with two office buildings, is that the design reflects the style of nearby Hume House "one of the ugliest buildings in Dublin".

Desmond, who lives on Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, is one of six parties to appeal planning permission granted by Dublin City Council last month.

Developer David Daly got planning permission from Dublin City Council to knock the 1,369sq m (14,736sq ft) Franklin House and build 4,194sq m (45,144sq ft) of office space from four to eight storeys connected by an atrium.

Desmond maintains the design "lacks any sophistication" and says the classically proportioned buildings to the east of the site "are not reflected anywhere in the design either in terms of their scale, fenestration, materials or finishes".

He told the board that he has always expressed his concern "about the need for high standards of design in the city of Dublin if it is to compete with other great European cities and indeed other world cities". He said permitting a building "of this calibre within an area like Ballsbridge is simply unacceptable".

In its submission to An Bord Pleanála, An Taisce says the scale and height of the development would have a "negative impact" on protected structures such as the "iconic" US embassy buildings, 19th century protected structures near it at the end of Elgin Road and estate cottages on Shelbourne Road.

It also points to a surplus of office space in the area, saying there are vacant offices at newer blocks like the Oval, RDS, Watermarque building and older office blocks like Hume House, the Faculty Building, Iona building, Shelbourne House and Carrisbrook House.

Among the other appellants are Lansdowne and District Residents Association, Pembroke Road Association and James O'Reilly SC and others.

David Daly bought Franklin House from developer Gerry Gannon in 2006 for €25 million.

All of the sites suitable for development in the centre of Ballsbridge are owned by a small group of high-profile developers, most of whom paid huge prices.

As well as the Jurys/Berkeley Court site, developer Seán Dunne owns Hume House, also on Pembroke Road, which he bought for €130 million and where he hopes to build a 14-storey office block.

Bernard McNamara and Jerry O'Reilly paid €46 million last year for Carrisbrook House, which is on the corner of Northumberland Road and Pembroke Road.

The Irish Times

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