Pat Kenny loses battle over plans for development next to his home
Broadcaster Pat Kenny and his wife Kathy have lost out in their battle against plans for block of flats on a site adjacent to their Dalkey home.
The blow to the couple came in An Bord Pleanála's surprise decision to give Richard Barrett's Bartra Capital Property planning permission for the 18 apartments, along with six houses, on the 1.4-acre site.
Bartra Capital had originally lodged plans for 19 apartments and seven houses.
The appeals board has given the scaled-down plan the go-ahead in spite of the staunch opposition by the Kennys and other locals, as well as a strong recommendation by the board's own inspector to refuse permission.
The ruling also overturns a decision by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to refuse planning permission for the contentious project.
The board inspector in the case, Kenneth Moloney, concluded that the proposed development would have an overbearing impact, would be visually obtrusive, would overlook and would seriously injure the residential amenities of the adjoining properties.
At the conclusion to his 46-page report, Mr Moloney stated: "The proposal would detract from the amenities of adjoining properties, would be out of character with - and fail to respect the established pattern of - development in the vicinity, and would set an undesirable precedent for similar type of development in the area."
However, in its ruling, the board stated that in deciding not to accept the inspector's recommendation, the board "was satisfied that the proposed development would be in accordance with the zoning objective for the site; would be consistent with national and local planning policy; would be subject to compliance with the conditions attached; be acceptable in terms of separation distances to site boundaries; would not seriously injure residential amenities in terms of overlooking or overbearing, and would not constitute overdevelopment of the site".
The planning permission - unless successfully challenged in the High Court by the Kennys and others objectors - will now mean that Bartra can secure a return on its investment on the site.
Last August, Bartra Capital Property paid €3.1m for the Maple Tree House site adjacent to the Kennys' home and also paid for an additional 0.51-acre site. The Kennys led the local opposition against the plan with 17 other objections also lodged against the planning application.
The Kennys' objection pointed out that their home, The Anchorage, abuts the subject site. The couple stated that the loss of light on their property that would result from the proposal "would be disastrous".
The objection stated: "In my opinion, the proposed development by the applicant is not in compliance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area."
They further said that, if permitted, the development "would detrimentally impact on The Anchorage" and other residential properties in the area.
The objection added: "It would also set a precedent that could ultimately seriously damage the character of the area."