Sunday 28 May 2017

Developer at centre of Tyrellstown controversy has private airstrip at family home

The runway at the Larkin family home at Dollys Grove at Staffordstown near Dunboyne, Co Meath. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The runway at the Larkin family home at Dollys Grove at Staffordstown near Dunboyne, Co Meath. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The Larkin family home at Dollys Grove at Staffordstown near Dunboyne Co Meath. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Richard Larkin. Pic Robbie Reynolds

Luke Hughes

One of the developers at the centre of the Tyrellstown controversy has a 700m private airstrip at his family home.

Brothers Richard (31) and Michael (34) Larkin are in the spotlight after it emerged that their company sent letters to residents of Cruise Park estate in Tyrellstown, telling them their leases would not be renewed.

Richard Larkin listed his address with the Company Records Office (CRO) as Dolly's Grove, in Staffordstown, Dunboyne, Co Meath. He shares the 62-acre country pile with father Eugene Larkin (58), who was also involved in the Tyrellstown project through family-owned development and investment companies.

Three aircraft are next to the landing strip, including what appears to be a British RAF Harrier Jump Jet. However, it is understood the aircraft are not airworthy and are for aesthetic purposes only. Locals said that the landing strip was sometimes used by the Larkins to test high-powered cars and motorbikes.

The Larkin family built the airstrip without planning permission. Planning authorities discovered the illegal construction too late to issue proceedings for the removal of the airstrip.

Meath County Council confirmed that there was no planning application for the runway that lies to the rear of the Georgian home on the property.

A planning application submitted in 2002 referenced a new driveway, among other works. However, it was not until 2012 that planning officials noticed from aerial photography that a runway had been built. The images dated from 2005.

"The development was deemed to be immune from enforcement action, having been in place for seven or more years," a statement said.

The Larkins declined to comment when contacted.

Irish Independent

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