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Eamonn Farrell/

D4 locals launch bid to block €50 million Denis O'Brien-backed apartment block

O’Brien’s company Purleigh plans to build a 90-unit development in Donnybrook.

A GROUP OF Dublin 4 residents have made a bid to have the green light for a €50m luxury apartment plan in Donnybrook by a company backed by billionaire Denis O’Brien overturned.

This follows residents from Nutley Square lodging an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against a decision by the City Council to give planning permission for the five five storey apartment blocks containing 90 apartments.

In its ruling, the City Council ordered that the top floor in the 5th block be omitted.

O’Brien acquired the site from UCD in 2008 when he gave UCD €15m in cash and another three acre site at Roebuck to the college in a land-swap plus cash deal.

However, O’Brien’s Purleigh – in a bid to maximise the return on the investment – lodged plans for the 90 unit development at the end of last year to replace a previous 71 unit plan granted planning permission by the appeals board.

Now, the residents’ appeal is the last remaining barrier facing Purleigh in its plans to cash in on the stellar prices now being commanded for new homes in one of the most sought after addresses in the country.

In their objection against the plan, Nutley Square Management Co claim that the Purleigh development to be overbearing, out of scale and out of character in terms of its appearance with the exiting housing in the area.

The residents group argues that the Purleigh proposal “does not respect the existing character, context and urban form of the surrounding area”.

The residents have also stated that the development does nothing to protect, provide or improve the residential amenities of our neighbourhood.

The argue that the development “is compatible in relation to character, height and density within existing developments in the area”.

In the planner’s report recommending that planning be granted, the planner stated that the proposal is considered to be acceptable and in line with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Consultants for Purleigh, Hughes Planning and Development Consultants told the City Council that the height of the plan increased from 13.8 metres to 16 metres “thus remaining within the permissible height for sites in the ‘Outer City’ area”.

The consultants also claimed that “the development proposal seeks to deliver a high quality residential development at a scale and density which makes the most efficient use of serviced land within Dublin’s metropolitan area”.

The consultants also pointed that the development seeks to enhance the appearance of the area through high quality design “and more importantly, seeking to protect the residential amenity of adjacent properties”.

The consultants further stated that the development seeks to protect the residential amenity of surrounding residents and create a high standard of accommodation for future residents.

A decision is due on the appeal in September of this year.

Read: Denis O’Brien must pay all costs after failed High Court case

Read: Two INM directors re-classified as not independent

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