Saturday 20 December 2014

Plans to make Lambay Island into exclusive holiday retreat

Published 16/06/2014 | 10:01

lambay island.jpg
Lambay Island

LAMBAY Island in Dublin could soon become an exclusive hideaway for wealthy holidaymakers after plans to modernise it were given the green light.

The trust company through which the famous Baring banking family owns the island, has come to an agreement with planning officials over a dispute on the overhaul of the island’s plumbing.

The idyllic island, which extends to some 240 hectares, is an important breeding ground for sea birds, including puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and Manx shearwaters, and is renowned for its herds of wallabies.

There is a castle on the grounds, which was modified from a 15th century fort.

Another structure, called the White House, was built closer to the island’s harbour in 1930.

Earlier this year, Fingal County Council gave the Lambay Estate Company permission to upgrade and modernise the buildings, including the installation of modern plumbing.

Upgrade

Because of various objections, the case had been referred to An Bord Pleanala.

However, Matthew Jebb, who is on the board of the Lambay trust company said that: “Once the deadline had passed, our architects had a meeting with the planners and we came to negotiated arrangement.”

Mr Jebb explained that what the development amounts to is putting in two bathrooms and a shower into the castle.

However, this will be just phase one 
of an ambitious plan for the entire 
island.

He said that the first phase of the construction will involve some discreet rewiring, as well as the lifting and repairing of water and sewage pipes.

Under the plans, there will be no “spa baths or walk-in showers,” but Mr Jebb believes that the island and its isolation will be very attractive to some holidaymakers .

Private

The island’s biggest selling point is that it’s entirely privately owned.

“There are a lot of people to whom that sort of privacy is of immense importance.

“There are some people who would be champing at the bit for this opportunity,” he pointed out.

Construction costs for the first phase are expected to be around €150,000 and probably another €100,000 will be spent next year.

fdillon@herald.ie

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