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Sunday 26 March 2017

RTE says €350m plan won't affect Desmond's view

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

FINANCIER Dermot Desmond's home will not be affected if a €350m redevelopment of the RTE campus is approved, a planning hearing was told yesterday.

While the property backed on to the national broadcaster's campus in Dublin 4, there were no views from the house and building a new broadcasting centre would not impact on his home, RTE said.

Mr Desmond is among several objectors to the Project 2025 plan which, if approved, would result in the complete redevelopment of RTE's Dublin 4 campus.

The broadcaster is seeking permission to construct a new purpose-built complex on a seven-hectare portion of its Montrose property.

It involves the demolition of the radio centre, library, sound stage, multi-storey car park and 'Fair City' set to be replaced by a new broadcasting centre, which would be built over 10 years in five phases.

In a submission to An Bord Pleanala, Mr Desmond claimed the development would have a "significant effect" on his Victorian house at 89 Ailesbury Road, a protected structure, both during the construction period and when the project is complete.

Devastating

He said he was "entitled to be protected from insensitive and inappropriate development", and that the impact of the new buildings would be "devastating" and affect views from the property.

Conservation architect David Slattery, appearing for RTE, said: "There are no significant views or vistas from these houses [on Ailesbury Road]. They overlook front and rear gardens. Number 89 is on the 1908 ordnance survey map. To the rear of it you can see Mount Erroll. If you look at the latest ordnance survey map, you can see a tennis court.

"If you take the historic curtilage of Ailesbury Road, this addition of the tennis court is not historically part of the curtilage of the house. The impacts could not be considered devastating," he added.

An Bord Pleanala inspector Mary Kenneally will today consider extending the planning hearing, which was due to conclude on Friday, to allow objectors to cross-examine RTE's director general, Cathal Goan, on his evidence.

Mr Goan made a submission on the opening day of the hearing, but yesterday it emerged he had gone abroad on business. Objectors said he must be made available for cross-examination.

Mr Desmond is one of eight appellants to the development which include An Taisce and the Germany Embassy.

Irish Independent

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