Pat Kenny teams up with his neighbours to fight plan for housing
Pat Kenny has banded with his neighbours to oppose plans to build 26 homes in south Dublin.
Residents in Dalkey have hired planning consultants and traffic experts in a bid to prevent three apartment blocks and seven houses being built on a site in their neighbourhood.
Bartra Capital Property, headed by developer Richard Barrett, paid €3.17m last July for Maple Tree House, owned by solicitor Gerard Charlton and his wife Maeve Charlton.
The couple were previously embroiled in a protracted legal dispute with Mr Kenny over ownership of a 0.2-acre strip of land, which became known as the 'Battle for Gorse Hill'.
But Bartra has also acquired a neighbouring site called Yonder on Ulverton Road, which was owned by the Charlton's daughter Gearoidín and her husband Corry McMahon.
Both sites total almost 1.5 acres and are the subject of a planning application lodged with Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown County Council, seeking permission to build 19 apartments in three blocks of up to four storeys, along with seven houses.
One of Ireland's best-known broadcasters, Mr Kenny and his wife, Kathy, are among 18 objectors, and are opposed on the grounds of density, scale and massing, impact on residential amenity and traffic grounds.
But eight householders, including the Kennys, have also hired Kieran O'Malley town planners to oppose the plans. In a submission, the planners say the scheme constitutes "overdevelopment" of the site, is "poorly conceived" and lacks adequate parking.
A submission from TrafficWise transport planners, also acting for the eight households, claims the traffic assessment from the developers "does not provide an impartial" description of the likely impacts, and access to the site is "woefully substandard", being served by a private lane.
This is not the first attempt to develop the site. In October 2007, Gearoidín Charlton and Corry McMahon were granted permission to demolish the existing house at Yonder and develop two detached properties. The homes, opposed by the Kennys, were never built.
The latest move to develop the site has been in train since the summer when Bartra Properties met with the local council. Two letters of consent, both dated June 14, are on the planning file. The first is signed by Maeve Charlton and relates to Maple Tree House at Bullock Harbour, and gives permission to Bartra to engage with the council in relation to a "residential proposal on the property".
Land Registry records show, on September 4 last, Maple Tree was registered in the name of Bartra Properties Ltd. It was in the name of Maeve Charlton to that point.
The second letter, from Gearoidín Charlton, and Corry McMahon says they are the owners of Yonder at 62 Ulverton Road in Dalkey, and gives consent to Bartra Property to engage with the council.