Revamp of Desmond trust-owned luxury home may ‘compromise structure’

Council concerned about ‘stability’ and ‘integrity’ of Victorian house on Ailesbury Road

Billionaire Dermot Desmond:  Celtic Trustees Ltd was previously the purchaser of Walford on Shrewsbury Road for €14.25 million.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Billionaire Dermot Desmond: Celtic Trustees Ltd was previously the purchaser of Walford on Shrewsbury Road for €14.25 million. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

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Dublin City Council has put on hold a revamp of a luxury home by a trust established by billionaire Dermot Desmond for his children over concerns that the proposals will compromise the stability and integrity of the structure and a neighbouring property.

Earlier this year, Celtic Trustees Ltd lodged plans with the council for a revamp of the home at 51 Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4.

The semi-detached Victorian house had been on the market with a guide price of €5.75 million in October 2015. Documentation lodged with the city council confirms that Celtic Trustees Ltd now owns the property.

The trust was previously the purchaser of one of the most sought-after properties on neighbouring Shrewsbury Road, Walford, for €14.25 million in December 2016.

In the plans lodged for 51 Ailesbury Rd, Celtic Trustees Ltd propose a replacement single storey to the rear of the home and alterations to the lower ground floor, first and second floor levels.

Protected structure

Conservation architect David Slattery, for the applicant, has told the city council the proposed works will have minimal impact on the character of the house, which is a protected structure.

Mr Slattery says the works “will enhance the historic fabric and architectural character of the house and significantly improve its amenity”.

He adds: “The proposed works are well considered and appropriate to the historic architectural character and fabric of the house. The works will improve the main living spaces and their connection to the rear garden. They are necessary for its use as a 21st-century single-family residence and will ensure its continued historic use as such.”

No objections

No objections have been lodged against the revamp proposals.

However, the council’s conservation officer “has concerns that there are significant alterations proposed that will compromise the stability and integrity of the structure as well as the immediate adjoining property at number 49”, according to the council.

In the absence of a structural engineer’s report and drawings, the council says the conservation officer “has concerns that this excavation [of the ground floor] has the potential to severely damage the integrity of the party walls and could cause damage to the adjoining property at number49”.

The council has also asked Celtic Trustees Ltd to revise its plans for the lower ground floor level so that the original building can be clearly read.

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