Noel Smyth plans houses on convent land in the capital
Fresh from inking a deal to sell Arnotts in Dublin to Selfridges, solicitor and developer Noel Smyth has applied for permission to build over 70 housing units beside a convent in the south of the city.
His Fitzwilliam Real Estate Construction vehicle has asked South Dublin County Council for permission to build a mix of 72 houses and apartments on the 2.3 hectare site in Firhouse. The site is beside the Carmel of the Assumption Convent.
The land is still controlled by the convent, with the owners, including Prioress Bridget McInerney, having given the all-clear for Fitzwilliam to apply for the planning permission.
Planners for the company maintain that the proposal provides a "unique opportunity for lands in private ownership to make a significant contribution to the expansion, development and enhancement of the existing Dodder Valley linear park".
As part of the development plan, it's intended that about 0.7 hectares of land will be transferred to the local council as part of the "plan objective of bringing part of the Carmelite Convent lands into public ownership as public open space".
Earlier this month, Mr Smyth completed a deal to sell Arnotts to high-end retailer Selfridges, which is owed by the wealthy Canadian-Irish Weston family. They also own Brown Thomas.
A Selfridges firm has pumped €103m into the company it used to buy Arnotts. That included €68m in cash. Arnotts has been trading since 1843 and has a prime location on Dublin's Henry Street. Mr Smyth has control of a number of surrounding properties.