Business The Punt

Friday 23 March 2018

The Punt: Council hitch for Gannon plan

Developer Gerry Gannon
Developer Gerry Gannon

Developer Gerry Gannon, who was one of the so-called Maple 10 called upon to help support Anglo Irish Bank's share price before it collapsed, has been told to submit more information to Fingal County Council about his plans for a huge site in north Dublin that includes the historic Georgian Belcamp Hall.

Gannon acquired the 81-hectare site in 2004 for €105m, but the historic house has been subject to arson attacks and vandalism. Late last year, Gannon Properties applied for planning permission to build 34 apartments at Belcamp Hall, which it noted will repaired and upgraded, with the "historic building fabric" conserved.

There will also be a three-to-four storey block of 37 apartments; one three-storey block of 16 apartments; and 139 semi-detached and detached houses.

The council has told the Gannon company that it needs to submit an environmental impact statement, and noted that the "layout of the development as proposed has had no regard to the archaeological heritage of this site", and that "it may need to be fundamentally redesigned".

"The applicant's suggestion that should preservation in situ be required, one block of housing would be omitted, is considered unsatisfactory, resulting in a haphazard and piecemeal approach to the development of this site," the council said.

Grand Slam goes to Finch

The Punt always suggests investors look coldly at a proposition and remove any emotion before getting into a deal.

It's usually a good rule. And it looks like rugby fans involved in property firm HWBC's "Armchair Pundit" followed similar advice.

AIB's Jason Finch took the top prize in the light-hearted prediction game, with John Middleton, head of property at wealth managers Harvest, and Kennedy Wilson's Jason Buyers, among those tied for second place. There were respectable performances from the likes of stock picker Ray Tilson of Tilman Brewin Dolphin in 26th place while Irish Life property fund manager David Eggers came 30th out of a 150-strong field.

The real rugby tournament was a pretty lacklustre one overall but we wonder if we'd be saying that if Ireland had won it all for a third year in a row.

As it turned out it was Les Rosbifs - England to the rest of us - who brought home the silverware.

HWBC director and English native Jonathan Hillyer had the office bragging rights after his country's clean sweep of the tournament.

He told The Punt: "Ireland's victory over Scotland was a nice starter before the main course of England putting some manners on Les Bleus to win the Grand Slam".

Team Lyons roars ahead in Liberties

Irish billionaire Pearse Lyons, who owns the US-based Alltech business whose activities range from animal feed to brewing, has been busy getting his new boutique distillery in Dublin up and running.

But it's his wife, Deirdre, below, who's been driving development at the site at the historic St James' Church in the capital's Liberties area.

The church was deconsecrated in 1964 and Pearse Lyons' grandfather, John Lyons, was one of the last people to be buried in its graveyard, in 1948.

Deirdre Lyons has always been active in the Alltech business as its director of corporate design and image.

Unsurprisingly, she said recently that the new distillery will be named the Pearse Lyons Distillery.

"We are carefully restoring the property which will allow visitors experience a working boutique distillery," she said. The distillery is expected to open next year, and will join a raft of new distilleries in Ireland, including another Alltech site in Carlow.

Irish Independent

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