Sunday 25 September 2016

Gannon embarks on plan for historic Dublin site

Published 05/01/2016 | 02:30

Gerry Gannon
Gerry Gannon

Developer Gerry Gannon - one of the so-called Maple 10 enlisted to support Anglo Irish Bank before it collapsed - has applied for planning permission for a huge project in north Dublin that will include the restoration of Belcamp Hall, a protected, but derelict Georgian building.

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Mr Gannon (pictured) acquired the more than 81-hectare site - formerly the home of the Belcamp College - in 2004 for €105m. The historic house at the location has been subject to arson attacks and vandalism.

He now plans to build over 250 houses and apartments on a 15 hectare portion of the site, as well as retail, restaurant and community facilities.

One of Mr Gannon's firms was granted permission in 2007 to convert the school buildings to 30 apartments, but that plan never proceeded.

Gannon Properties now proposes that 34 apartments will be constructed at Belcamp Hall, which it notes will repaired and upgraded, with the "historic building fabric" conserved.

The planning application to Fingal County Council notes that the new works will include a courtyard of 27 houses and apartments, as well as a retail unit.

There will also be a three-to-four storey block of 37 apartments; one three-storey block of 16 apartments; and 139 semi-detached and detached houses.

Mr Gannon told the Banking Inquiry in a June witness statement that the site at Belcamp has the potential to become a new town centre with in excess of 3,000 housing units.

"During my career, I have developed lands that house over 10,000 residential dwellings and over one million sq ft of commercial space," he added. His loans were transferred to NAMA in 2010 and the agency has helped bankroll his latest developments.

He said in his statement that in 2014 he undertook a NAMA-backed development in Swords in north Dublin, but that the first phase of houses had to be fully complete before any could be sold because potential buyers were concerned they could end up living in a ghost estate.

Just before Christmas, Gannon Properties was granted permission by Fingal County Council for 190 houses and 60 apartments in Swords.

In 2014, Mr Gannon sold a portfolio of houses and land at Malahide in Dublin to UK firm Development Securities for over €30m.

Accounts for Gannon Homes show that it made a pre-tax profit of €4.4m in 2014, on turnover of €43.8m.

It had net debt of €186.9m at the end of the period.

Irish Independent

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