Plans to remove the roof and add four storeys to a protected 19th-century house in Dún Laoghaire as part of a build-to-rent development have been submitted to An Bord Pleanála.
Ted Living Ltd is seeking permission for 146 rental-only apartments in blocks up to eight storeys on the old Tedcastles Yard industrial site, opposite the town's west pier, using the Strategic Housing Development system due to be discontinued next year.
The site includes Dun Leary House, a distinctive yellow brick, detached four-storey house dating from the 1870s, built for the original owner of the adjoining coal yard.
Ted Living last year sought permission to demolish the house as part of plans for 161 build-to-rent apartments, but later withdrew the application.
The new plans would see the “refurbishment” of the house, the company said. However, there would also be a partial removal of original walls and floors, the removal of the roof, and the construction of four floors of development above the existing building.
The Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Development Plan requires the house “be retained in situ and renovated” in any future development of the site. Councillors earlier this year also voted to add the building to the record of protected structures (RPS), despite opposition from representatives of the developers who said the building did not merit inclusion and the RPS “should not be used as a blunt tool to inhibit potential development”.
In the new application, representatives for the developers said: “Dun Leary House has been a central consideration in the design evolution of this scheme from the outset.”
The scheme’s design team had carried out “extensive studies which established that it would be possible to retain the main form of Dun Leary House and boundary whilst allowing for the remainder of the site to be developed in accordance with national planning policy,” it said.
“It is now therefore proposed to incorporate the existing building into the proposed development for the overall site and to make it a focal point with the main entrance formed against the northern facade of the building.”
This will involve the retention of “key facades” and extensive repair and reinstatement of some original fabric, it said. “It is proposed to retain the main spaces within the building as historic office suites serving the overall development with cornices, internal window and door linings and leafs all retained and reinstated. It is proposed to provide additional floors of accommodation above on an identical footprint but in a contemporary manner.”
Independent Senator Victor Boyhan, who proposed the protection of the house in 2016, said the new scheme was "not a significant improvement" on the earlier plans to demolish the house.
“This is a totally excessive and inappropriate proposal that fails to respect the protection of Dun Leary House,” he said. “It represents over-intensification of the site and is in no way sensitive to the protection of the house, which is of historical social and architectural significance.”
The house was also the only Victorian yellow brick building in Dún Laoghaire, Mr Boyhan said. "Monkstown Hospital was a yellow brick building but it has been demolished, and the next nearest one is the Yellow House in Rathfarnham, " he said.
Representatives of the developer said the planned works to the house were “appropriate and necessary in order to knit the building into the new development”.