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Planners shoot down scheme for Ireland's most expensive home

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Walford on Shrewsbury Road

Walford on Shrewsbury Road

Walford on Shrewsbury Road

AN Bord Pleanala has rejected plans to redevelop Ireland's most expensive home - which was linked to bust developer Sean Dunne.

A mysterious Cypriot- registered company was given the green light by Dublin City Council planners to renovate and extend Walford, on Shrewsbury Road.

However, An Bord Pleanala has now overturned the decision after local residents mounted several complaints.

Walford became the most expensive residential property in the country when it sold for a record €58m in 2005.

Transaction

This particular transaction has been the subject of much speculation and is currently being investigated by Christopher Lehane, the official assignee in bankruptcy, who is handling Mr Dunne's bankruptcy in Ireland.

Mr Lehane has stated in legal papers that he believes Mr Dunne was the purchaser of the house.

Howver, this has always been denied by Mr Dunne, who claims he loaned his wife - former gossip columnist Gayle Killilea - the money to buy the property.

Walford was subsequently sold in 2013 for €14m to Yesreb Holding Ltd, a mysterious Cypriot-registered company whose true ownership has not been revealed.

Yesreb Holding applied to Dublin City Council for permission to renovate and extend Walford and build four other homes on the grounds of the 1.8-acre property on Dublin's Shrewsbury Road.

Residents, including David McCann, the boss of banana giant Fyffes, complained about the proposal on several issues.

Objectors queried the validity of the application, as it was not known who owned Yesreb.

In submissions to the board ahead of its ruling, the owner of a neighbouring property, solicitor Stephen MacKenzie, stated his belief that Mr Dunne was Walford's beneficial owner.

PROPOSALS

However, the board found that the application itself was valid, and instead focussed on the merits of the proposals in terms of their impact on the locality and the character of the existing Edwardian-era building.

It found the proposals to be out of character with the locality, which has been designated a residential conservation area.

Planners concluded the additional houses would be visually dominant and overlook nearby property, injuring amenity of residents and depreciating the value of property in the vicinity.

Planners also found that the proposed extension of Walford would interfere with the character and historic design of the house.

The ownership issue was not explored in detail in the An Bord Pleanala ruling.

hnews@herald.ie


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