Dalkey’s Santa Maria planning saga continues

Revised plans for 18 homes on Cunnigham Drive lodged with council

Santa Maria in Dalkey, Dublin: planning application for 18 houses has met with objections from locals

Santa Maria in Dalkey, Dublin: planning application for 18 houses has met with objections from locals


Following a nine-year planning debacle, and the passing of ownership three times, will Allied Land Investments finally develop the controversial Santa Maria site on Dalkey’s Cunningham Drive?

Wesley Curran and Graham O’Donnell’s Otranto Properties purchased Santa Maria, the substantial redbrick home and its two-acre site in 2005 for €10 million. Their purchase included access from Cunningham Drive, cutting across the garden of Arranmore, 13 Cunningham Road. Eventually, they secured planning permission in 2007 following a lengthy planning process for 15 houses and nine apartments.

The ready-to-go site was then flipped in 2007 to a group of investors, known as the Santa Maria Co-Ownership, for a sum believed to be more than €20 million. But the proposed development was never built and the co-ownership was placed into receivership. In 2011, the receiver was refused an extension of the original 2007 planning permission.

Between 2011 and now, Allied Land Investments acquired the site and, following their invalid planning application in April this year, the company re-applied in May for permission to develop the 1.46-acre site. With their second application, the local council requested revised plans, which have now been submitted as of last Monday.

Allied has lodged two separate extensive documents – however none of the 18 proposed houses have been omitted, despite the council’s request and vehement opposition from locals – with no less than 21 separate objections lodged against Allied’s May application. It will be interesting to see whether the company will obtain planning permission without more material changes to their plans.

Allied Land Investments is owned by Richard and Michael Larkin, who also trade as Twinlite Services, and whose website includes 3D renderings of the proposed Dalkey development. They developed Tyrellstown around 2000, and recently dipped their feet back in on a much smaller scale with Ludford Grove in Ballinteer, which is on the brink of completion. Another company of theirs is also developing a sumptuous Art-Deco-style mansion nearby on Dundrum’s exclusive Sydenham Villas. A third company owned by the duo has planning permission for eight apartment blocks at Kimmage Road Lower in Harold’s Cross.