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Planners throw out Johnny plans for his son's dream mansion

HIGH-PROFILE developer Johnny Ronan has been dealt a fresh blow after a planning authority turned down his son's ambitious house plans.

Wicklow County Council refused permission for a four-storey pastiche Georgian house in Enniskerry to his son James.

James, who held his 21st birthday party in the plush Ritz-Carlton hotel in Powerscourt last year, wanted to construct a massive home which included a bar, a snug and an internal lift.


But the local authority said that the height and scale of the proposed development could detract from the existing Summer House, a protected structure in the grounds.

The 1970s cedar lodge Summer House overlooking the Dargle on the 75-acre site was purchased by Treasury Holdings tycoon Johnny Ronan in the early 1990s.

"It is considered that the proposed development would be overbearing and would, as a result, detract from the character of the proposed protected structure," Wicklow County Council said.

Neighbours had voiced their concerns about the construction on the estate known as Dargle Cottage.

"While Mr John Ronan may have acquired Dargle Cottage and gardens in 1992, it was several years before he and his family took up permanent residence owing to restoration and reconstruction works," said WB and MM Somerville.

"As a 21-year-old, third-year student at the Dublin Institute of Technology, unmarried and without his own family, the applicant does not demonstrate that he requires a residence to accommodate his own family."

Wicklow County Council also said: "The development would not represent a necessary dwelling in the landscape zone."

The county council is one of several local authorities which restricts the construction of houses in areas of outstanding beauty to those who have a "bona fide" need to build a one-off property locally.

Ronan tried to build another property there in 2004 but was refused permission.