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Toland says co-living flats could spread Covid-19 in Ballsbridge



Shared living: An image of the interior of one of the rooms in the planned Bartra Capital block

Shared living: An image of the interior of one of the rooms in the planned Bartra Capital block

Shared living: An image of the interior of one of the rooms in the planned Bartra Capital block

One of the country's best paid CEOs is fighting against plans for a 111-bed shared co-living space proposal for Ballsbridge in Dublin 4, saying it could spread the coronavirus.

Kevin Toland, who is chief executive of baked goods company Aryzta, and his wife Aisling have lodgedan objection against a proposed five storey development by Bartra Capital proposal for 98 Merrion Rd.

In their one-page objection, the Tolands urge Dublin City Council to "please reject this planning application".

"Covid 19 has struck every country in the world, the very nature of co-living would have the potential of spreading the virus even further.

"It could endanger the local community at large," the Tolands said.

"We were very surprised that a proposal of this nature would even be considered during a world-wide pandemic," the objection said.

Last year, Mr Toland was the second best paid Irish CEO working at a publicly listed company, when he received a total remuneration package of €4.1m from Aryzta, a Swiss-Irish firm that owns the Cuisine de France brand.

Rebel shareholders are currently seeking to oust Mr Toland.

Documents lodged with the Bartra plan state that the proposal has been designed to carefully avoid overlooking of neighbouring properties and to provide the occupants with high quality indoor environment.

Others have also made objections against including former Irish Sugar MD and Ailesbury Rd resident, Chris Comerford, Dublin Green MEP, Ciaran Cuffe and Sinn Féin TD Chris Andrews.

The Tolands purchased their Merrion Road home in 2013, and in the objection they lodged against the Bartra plan, they said that the Bartra proposal "is a complete eyesore".

They argued that no 'super structures' like the one proposed at 98 Merrion Rd should be allowed to be built.

In response to the Tolands' Covid-19 concerns, Bartra Capital CEO Mike Flannery stated yesterday that an independent medical expert had determined that in many respects, the risk of [Covid-19] transmission would be less for residents in the proposed development than for people living in a normal house or a shared apartment.

"We are more than happy to engage with Nphet, or any equivalent Government body on the public health provisions of shared living," he said.

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"We believe shared living can play a small but important role in Dublin, where 40pc of the population is comprised of single people," he added.

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