Spring cleaning on Ailesbury Road seems an arduous affair. Last week fleets of vans held court on the country's most exclusive street. Bustling builders, carpet shampooers, window cleaners, gardeners - van drivers of all persuasions - came and went from the pristine avenue as residents did their best to keep up appearances.
Maybe the affluent homes of the tree-lined embassy belt are high maintenance. It could be that the homeowners are more demanding than those of us with weathered paintwork, overflowing gutters and tattered lawns after a harsh winter.
But on Ailesbury Road, where homes change hands for millions of euro, this simply won't do.
However, some residents are working to ensure the odd builder's arse and breakfast rolls with paper cups of milky tea do not become more frequent bystanders on the avenue.
At the corner in Donnybrook, where the Ross O'Carroll-Kelly Hiberno-English south Dublin universe collides with the city's 'howiya' core via the humble set of Carrigstown, is a plot of land. The site adjacent to the Fair City mise-en-scene was sold to developer Cairn Homes three years ago for €107.5m. It plans to put more than 600 apartments here, nestled between Ailesbury Close (just off Ailesbury Road), RTE's radio studios and the German Embassy to Ireland.
A gaggle of Ailesbury residents has launched a legal challenge to the fast-track planning laws that allow Cairn, and other builders, to submit planning applications directly to An Bord Pleanala (ABP) instead of a local authority. Traditionally ABP has dealt with planning appeals, but strategic housing development legislation introduced by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy in 2017 is designed to speed up planning decisions.
Cairn has recently been meeting with neighbours and sharing plans in advance of formally submitting its proposals for the development to ABP. But billionaire financier Dermot Desmond's wife Pat, former Irish Sugar managing director Chris Comerford and businessman John Gleeson have voiced opposition to the legislation. They have initiated a High Court action against Ireland, the attorney general and the housing minister to halt the plan.
They said the legislation and planning guidelines are "undemocratic and unconstitutional and are wrong at every level for all of us".
It seems many of the Ailesbury Road residents agree, and deny that the opposition to the development of 611 new apartments under the changed law amounts to nimbyism.
"The roundabout at the end of the road leading to where the apartments would be is already chock-full all the time. We can't cope with another 600 cars coming out of the Cairn apartments clogging up the road," one resident walking the leafy boulevard told the Sunday Independent.
"And we are already short on green space. It just doesn't seem right. I think they are right to complain."
Canvassing local opinion is difficult in the gated community, and more time is spent ringing buzzers at gates than knocking on doors.
"Oh, I'm just the cleaner," one robust D4 voice insists through an intercom at a pillar.
"I couldn't possibly comment on the apartments. No."
One bell doesn't connect to a house but instead to a security booth tucked away behind a mature hedge.
Another walker passes by before I press the next buzzer.
"Some residents are opposed to it but I certainly am not," he says.
"Obviously there is a shortage of [housing] supply and I don't think it is right to challenge anything that could make it easier for young people to get on the ladder."
His dissenting voice was unique.
One exercised resident, who insisted on not being identified, corrected me when I asked if she agreed with the planning appeal.
"It's not a planning appeal," she correctly asserted. "They are taking issue with the process and the legislation and I think they are going about it in the right way."
But is it nimbyism?
"I don't think so. Sure enough, we have a busy road already but I don't think we have the capability to cope with another 600 homes here.
"There isn't enough room on the road for extra cars and buses, or amenities or green areas, and the green areas we have shouldn't be signed over to housing.
"I think they [Desmond, Comerford and Gleeson] are going about it the right way. What is the point of having a process for planning permission if some people are allowed to circumvent it for certain developments?
"Builders will abuse such a system."
The Ailesbury trio mounting the legal challenge insist this is at the core of their objection. They called the planning policy "flawed".
"Instead of delivering appropriate and sustainable housing for families, first-time buyers and downsizers, it favours build-to-rent schemes and development types that attract investment funds and financial market speculators. This housing model is not suitable for building sustainable communities," they said.
"A planning system designed to favour private investors in pursuit of high profit in property investment is not aligned with proper planning and development, open market competition, housing need or the social good."
Builders have expressed concern about the legal challenge, saying that if it is successful it could hamper the delivery of thousands of homes across the country. They say thousands of homes have already been delivered because of the fast-track legislation.
But if the Ailesbury Road residents get their way, the only vans coming to the area in future will be filled with workers preening the embassies and imposing trophy homes for a spring clean, not creating new neighbours.