Saturday 24 August 2019

D4 demolition: Restaurateur Robbie Fox appeals redevelopment plans for his Ballsbridge restaurant

Dublin restaurateur Robbie Fox. Photo: Arthur Carron/Collins
Dublin restaurateur Robbie Fox. Photo: Arthur Carron/Collins

Gordon Deegan

Dublin restaurateur Robbie Fox has put the brakes on plans to demolish his Belluci's restaurant in Ballsbridge and put a new restaurant in place in a large redevelopment of the site.

Earlier this month, Dublin City Council gave Knockanore Properties the go-ahead to demolish a high-profile mixed-use building at 20 Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, in order to replace it with a development more than four times its size.

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Mr Fox, director of Bel and Bellucci (Ballsbridge) Ltd, has appealed the grant of permission to An Bord Pleanála. Mr Fox operates a lease at the building for his Belluci's restaurant.

In his appeal, Mr Fox said the proposal, "which is predicated on the demolition of the entire Sweepstakes Centre, would require the extinguishment of the Belluci's business which is completely unacceptable from our point of view".

He added: "We have no objection in principle to the redevelopment of the site, particularly with the replacement of a suitable restaurant within which we would be happy to relocate our existing business, subject to agreement and terms."

Mr Fox told the appeals board that he has issues with the physical layout, profile and operational constraints of the proposed alternative restaurant, "which we believe should be taken into account by the board in deciding whether to grant, refuse or modify the terms of the decision to grant".

Mr Fox argues that the new restaurant would be split between ground and basement levels "which is less efficient and substantially less desirable from an operational point of view".

The property is situated beside the Horse Show House pub and opposite the RDS.

Under the redevelopment plans, the existing two-storey building would be replaced by a 111,890sq ft structure ranging in height from four to six storeys. Consultants for Knockanore Properties RPS said the application proposes "a well considered development of the site".

The council gave the plan the go-ahead after concluding that the proposal would provide a more defined urban form to the prominent corner in Ballsbridge.

Irish Independent

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