Republic of Austria and Dublin 4 residents object to Cairn’s plan for former RTÉ lands

Housebuilder planning 688 apartments and a hotel for site in second attempt to build on lands

The Republic of Austria and residents on Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4 are objecting to new “high rise” plans for 688 apartments on former RTÉ campus lands.

Last month, Cairn Homes lodged the Large Scale Residential Development (LRD) application with Dublin City Council. It also includes a 192-bedroom hotel, with the apartments comprising 416 build-to-rent units and 272 build-to-sell units.

The scheme is to be built across 10 blocks, with the block containing the hotel, reaching to 16 storeys in height.

These plans represent Cairn’s second attempt to build on the lands that it purchased for €107.5 million in 2017. A previous planning permission granted by An Bord Pleanála was quashed by the High Court on the back of an action taken by three local residents: Chris Comerford, John Gleeson and Pat Desmond, wife of billionaire, Dermot Desmond.


In response to the new scheme, on behalf of the Ailesbury Rd Residents Association, Dr Patrick Gavin has told the council that the building of apartments and the hotel across the 10 blocks “is not the solution to Ireland’s housing crisis”.

Dr Gavin has argued that “the high rise setting is inappropriate and insensitive to the character of the area”.

He has also contended that “if permitted in its present form, the proposed development of the former RTÉ Montrose site will seriously harm the visual amenities of the neighbouring conservation area”.

In total, the plan has attracted 14 submissions, including one from the Anglesea Rd, Ailesbury Rd and Ailesbury Grove Residents Association.

On behalf of the Republic of Austria, planning consultant, Tony Manahan has told the council that due to the overdevelopment, height, visual and traffic impact on the area, it is likely that the impacts of the proposed LRD are so great on the Austrian’s ambassador’s office and residence on Ailesbury Road that the council should refuse planning permission.

The three Ailesbury Roadd residents in the High Court case – Pat Desmond, Chris Comerford and John Gleason – along with Imelda Gleeson, have lodged a one-page submission.

On their behalf, Ken Kennedy Solicitors states the firm’s clients are concerned that the development will negatively impact on the private amenity of their properties “and respectfully request that mitigating measures are included to avoid overlooking from the apartments to protect the privacy and amenity of our clients’ properties, including height restrictions on those blocks closest to our clients’ properties and planting of high dense evergreen tree screening”.

A decision is due on the application later this month.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times