Anne Enright in planning row with Sandycove neighbours

Booker Prize-winning author objects to neighbours’ house plans in south Dublin

Anne Enright, Laureate for Irish Fiction, Photograph: Alan Betson

Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright is engaged in a planning battle with neighbours in Sandycove, Co Dublin.

Peter and Liz Miller have lodged plans to demolish a two-storey three-bedroom home and construct a two-storey mews house next door to the home of Ms Enright and her husband, Martin Murphy.

Last month, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council gave approval to the Millers to construct the new home. It concluded the building would not be visually intrusive nor detract from the residential amenity of adjoining properties and would be consistent with the policies of the council’s development plan.

Ms Enright, the current Laureate for Irish Fiction, and Mr Murphy – whose own home at Sandycove is a protected structure – have lodged an appeal against the development with An Bord Pleanála. They have hired planning expert, Ann Mulcrone, who represented writer and director Neil Jordan in his dispute over a swimming shelter at a neighbour's house on Sorrento Terrace in Dalkey.


In the appeal, Ms Mulcrone claims that “the proposed development would be visually incongruous and obtrusive and would give rise to overshadowing and loss of amenity and privacy to neighbour properties”.

Ms Mulcrone also claims the proposal “would be out of character with the pattern of development in the area and would adversely injure the amenities of residential properties in the vicinity and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”. She argues the design of the new build “is of poor quality and visually incoherent and fails to contribute positively to the heritage and streetscape character of the area”.

Mr Mulcrone also says the proposed development by virtue of its proximity and size “would adversely impact on the character of protected structures and would materially contravene the development plan policies”.

A decision is due on the appeal in September.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times