Kildare County Council has given the green light for a large house extension plan by MMA star Conor McGregor.
The application was on the canvas in October after the council told Mr McGregor that the proposed extension was "inappropriate" for the 5.8 acre (2.3 hectare) site of his house located near the village of Straffan.
The council planners told the Dublin native that the proposal was inappropriate “by virtue of its proposed length, scale and massing”, and sought additional information.
However, after a comprehensive submission made by Mr McGregor's planning consultant, Kevin Hughes, the council has now granted permission with 14 conditions attached.
The council planning report concluded that “whilst the proposed development is considered to have a larger than typical footprint and contemporary design, the subject site is well screened and can accommodate such a development with minimal visual impact”.
Visual impact assessment
The planner’s report further stated that “all issues in relation to impact of development on the adjoining properties, character of the area and natural landscape have been addressed with a detailed visual impact assessment and analysis of County Development Plan policy”.
The council stated that the response by Hughes Planning & Development Consultants “provides a justification for the significant size of the proposed extension”.
In his response to the council on behalf of Conor McGregor, Kevin Hughes had argued that the extension has a “simple” design and complements the existing home at the site.
Mr Hughes told the council that the scale and design of the proposed extension does not detract from the existing dwelling on a site that is bounded on one side by the river Liffey.
Requesting that permission be granted, Mr Hughes told the council that it would result in a home that is simple in form, of excellent proportion and is at a scale which responds to the size of the site.
No third-party objections were lodged against the planned extension for the The Paddocks home at Castledillon, close to the K Club resort.
The MMA fighter acquired the property in a €3 million deal in July 2019 from Albert Reynolds jnr, the son of the former taoiseach.
The planning application submitted to Kildare County Council on behalf of Mr McGregor and his partner, Deirdre “Dee” Devlin, outlines the planned alterations and additions to the house.
These include the demolition of the existing detached garage and the construction of a part-single-, part-1½-storey extension.
The scheme also includes relocating the house’s tennis court to build a partially sunken basement under it that would contain a car park and gym.
The lodging of the planning application followed shortly after Mr McGregor topped a Forbes list as the highest-paid athlete in the world for 2020/21, earning $180 million (about €159 million in current currency).
The figure included $158 million from endorsements and the sale of a majority stake in his whiskey brand.