Sunday 23 September 2018

Developer Johnny Ronan seeks €4.5m for Stylebawn house and 14 acres in Wicklow

Johnny Ronan
Johnny Ronan
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Developer Johnny Ronan has decided to abandon a long-standing plan to deliver a high-end residential scheme on lands surrounding one of Ireland's oldest private houses, Stylebawn in Delgany, Co Wicklow.

Joint agents Dooley Auctioneers and Knight Frank are now expected to guide a price in the region of €4.5m when they bring Stylebawn and the 14-acre site surrounding it to the market on behalf of Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) this week.

While the subject site has an existing planning permission for the development of 11 substantial houses, this is due to expire in September.

The formulation of the next Greystones-Delgany-Kilcoole Local Area Plan could provide an opportunity for this permission to be amended to allow for an increased number of houses on the site, albeit ones that would be more modest in size.

Any development on the lands will require the prospective purchaser to preserve Stylebawn itself.

The house, which dates from at least 1773, is a protected structure.

The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage lists Stylebawn as "a detached multiple-bay one-and-a-half storey house, built in 1773, but much extended in the mid 19th-century".

Stylebawn has lain unoccupied since Johnny Ronan purchased it in 2004.

Prior to the developer's acquisition of the property, its previous owner, John Gaisford St Lawrence, had regularly opened the gardens of Stylebawn to the public.

Historically, Stylebawn had served as the original coaching inn for Delgany, and had been known as the Delgany Inn. Today, that name is more readily associated with the collective home of the hugely-popular Firehouse Bakery, Delgany Grocer, and Pigeon House Cafe, directly across the road.

According to the website, delganyheritagevillage.com, Stylebawn once hosted Sir Walter Raleigh, and is, according to speculation, home to no fewer than two ghosts - a lady in black lace and a gentleman in grey.

In 2016, the property suffered significant fire damage.

Sunday Independent

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