Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman extension falls foul of neighbours

Former Ireland rugby captain and actor want to revamp €1.8m Rathmines home

Brian O’Driscoll and his wife Amy Huberman have yet to move into their new home on the Palmerston Road in Rathmines. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Brian O’Driscoll and his wife Amy Huberman have yet to move into their new home on the Palmerston Road in Rathmines. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

 

Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman’s plans to completely revamp their new €1.8 million family home in south Dublin have fallen foul of their next door neighbours.

This follows the couple’s new next door neighbours on the Palmerston Road, Rathmines, Donald and Isabel Fitzmaurice lodging an objection with Dublin City Council against the scale of the O’Driscoll/Huberman plan.

The Fitzmaurices live in the adjoining semi-detached home.

In a comprehensive objection lodged on behalf of the Fitzmaurices, director of Coda Architects, Brian O’Donnell claims that the impact and overbearing nature of the proposed development “will be hugely detrimental to the amenity” of the adjoining Fitzmaurice home.

Mr O’Donnell also takes issue with a statement by planning consultants for the former Ireland rugby captain and actor lodged with the City Council that the Fitzmaurices were consulted throughout the design stages “and are satisfied that appropriate measures have been taken to ensure that the proposal will not result in the dis-amenity to their property”.

An artist’s impression of the front of the proposed renovated home of Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman.
An artist’s impression of the front of the proposed renovated home of Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman.

In the objection, Mr O’Donnell states: “We would like to correct this statement. Whilst some consultation did take place, the applicants in the end, declined to amend their scheme to accommodate the concerns of my clients in relation to the extent of the proposed development.”

Adverse impact

Mr O’Driscoll and Ms Huberman have yet to move in and their application includes a new three-storey rear extension to replace the existing “non original” two storey extension and a new single storey side and rear extension.

However, Mr O’Donnell states that “we believe that the scale of the proposed development and its effect in multiple locations to the existing house will have an adverse impact on the character and amenity of the adjoining dwelling and contrary to the Dublin City Development Plan”.

Mr O’Donnell is requesting that the Council restricts the extent of the development where it significantly impacts on the Fitzmaurice home.

Mr O’Donnell states: “We submit that reasonable restrictions on the proposed development would enable the development proceed whilst respecting the rights and amenities of the adjoining owner.”

Last year, Mr O’Driscoll and Ms Huberman purchased the red bricked Victorian property – built between 1863 and 1870 – for €1.8 million. That was less than half the €4.3 million the previous owners paid for the home in 2006.

An artist’s impression of the rear of the proposed renovated home of Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman.
An artist’s impression of the rear of the proposed renovated home of Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman.

In December, the couple successfully secured permission for an extension to the five year planning permission attached to the property.

However, they lodged a fresh planning application last month for an even larger extension to the home.

In the Fitzmaurice objection, Mr O’Donnell states that “the proposed new extension is considerably larger in plan than the existing permitted development and we believe that it will significantly add to the over-shadowing of the (Fitzmaurice) rear garden, particularly in the afternoon prime hours of daylight and sunlight as a result causing a loss of amenity”.

Mr O’Donnell states that contrary to the claim made in the applicants’ planners’ report, the length and height of the proposed rear extension would have an overshadowing and overbearing impact on the Fitzmaurice property.

Restoring house

Mr O’Donnell states that the Fitzmaurices are in support in principal for many of the features of the O’Driscoll/Huberman application including restoring the house to a single family residence; general facade restoration; removal of PVC windows; restoration of stone work at ground level and removal of double gates to side garden and re-misstatement of wall.

In January, Mr O’Driscoll and Ms Huberman attended a pre-planning consultation meeting accompanied by their planning advisors with Dublin City Council planners and a handwritten note by a Council planner from the meeting states that the return of the building to family use is welcome by Dublin City Council “as it is currently a property which is at risk”.

An artist’s impression of the side of the proposed renovated home of Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman.
An artist’s impression of the side of the proposed renovated home of Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman.

Kevin Hughes of Hughes Planning and Development Consultants for the couple has told the Council in a report that the planned changes “will only serve to further enhance the appearance and character of the building with the aim of ensuring the long term integrity of the protected structure is conserved”.

Mr Hughes states that “the proposed alterations have been designed and scaled in a manner that is highly respectful of the special interest and integrity of the protected structure”.

A decision is due by Dublin City Council on the plan next month.