Mount Merrion abuzz with development plans

42-unit apartment development in South Co Dublin suburb gets go-ahead

Flanagan’s furniture shop in Mount Merrion: plan to build a 42-unit apartment scheme on the site has been given the go-ahead

Flanagan’s furniture shop in Mount Merrion: plan to build a 42-unit apartment scheme on the site has been given the go-ahead

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Mount Merrion, one of south Co Dublin’s leafier enclaves, is currently a hive of property activity.

Between houses for sale and applications for ambitious extensions, the ever vigilant Mount Merrion Residents’ Association has barely had a chance to draw breath. This all pales into insignificance though alongside developments at the former Kiely’s of Mount Merrion site and Flanagan’s furniture shop which adjoins it.

Several months ago the Kiely’s site was purchased by dynamic business duo Paddy McKillen jr and Matt Ryan, who promptly opened Union Café with a deli, wine shop and grocers to the front, while the old bar underwent a refurb and name change to Kennedy’s.

The move was generally hailed by locals as a welcome addition to a previously barren recreational landscape. It came as a great surprise then when it emerged that Union Café is only a temporary part of a longer-term and far more ambitious plan by the owners to develop the site with views over Dublin Bay for residential use.

In recent weeks, plans were put on public display above Union Café to allow local residents view a proposed development for the substantial site. Suffice to say that not all were taken by it. One local, upon spotting part of the scheme that might rise to six storeys, was heard to exclaim “that’s all very well out in Citywest or somewhere, but not in Mount Merrion”.

The residents’ concerns were duly noted, and in a recent correspondence to Mount Merrion Residents’ Association, Matt Ryan assured: “We have asked the architects to look again at the overall scheme and especially at the individual parts that most concerned people.”

Cue a revised lower-rise scheme but it’s likely about 70 apartments will still be built on the site, subject to planning approval.

The developers meanwhile have been bowled over by local interest in the plans, saying they could have taken deposits on both evenings from older local residents who are keen to sell up and downsize. Unsurprising really, given that this is the first apartment development of its type in the area in 30 years.

Imagine then, when amid all of this hand-holding, the bombshell news emerged last week that the Flanagan’s site next door has got the go-ahead for a 42-unit apartment scheme, rising to, wait for it, seven storeys.

Sacre bleu!

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