Dublin 4 residents battle underground cinema plan

Shrewsbury Road property owners object to application for three-storey extension

7 Shrewsbury Road, Dublin. Shrewsbury Road residents are trying to block plans for an extension at the property that includes an underground cinema. Photograph: MyHome.ie

7 Shrewsbury Road, Dublin. Shrewsbury Road residents are trying to block plans for an extension at the property that includes an underground cinema. Photograph: MyHome.ie

 

Residents on one of the country’s most exclusive roads, in Dublin 4, are trying to block plans for an extension that includes an underground cinema.

Dublin City Council granted permission last November to the new owner of 7 Shrewsbury Road, Aengus Kelly, chief executive of aircraft leasing firm AerCap, and his wife Deirdre Kelly, for a three-storey over-basement extension.

The couple bought the house, formerly owned by the Priory Hall developer Larry O’Mahoney, for €4.8 million last year.

The plan includes a 278.7sq m (3,000 sq ft) subterranean level with a gym, shower, playroom, wine cellar, cinema and kitchenette

The Shrewsbury Road Residential and Environmental Protection Association has appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála.

Separate appeals have been lodged by others including Kathy Smurfit, wife of Michael Smurfit Jnr.

The residents association says the council and appeals board, in their reports, referred to Shrewsbury Road’s unique character “and its exalted position as the premier showpiece residential road” in the council’s jurisdiction.

On behalf of the residents association, chairman Michael Maughan states that “the over-riding concern of the Shrewsbury Road Residential and Environmental Protection Association is the very real danger that a favourable decision in respect of this proposed development would create a precedent and open the flood gates to encourage property speculators”.

He claims this would lead to “the ultimate dismantling and destruction of not alone this residential conservation area but all other areas designated as such in the Dublin City Development Plan”.

‘Unacceptable adverse affects’

Ms Smurfit has requested An Bord Pleanála to refuse permission “based on the unacceptable adverse effects it would have on its semi-detached neighbour”.

A submission made on behalf of applicant Deirdre Kelly says the extension is in keeping with existing buildings and streetscape.

A city council report said it would not negatively impact the streetscape, environmental and residential amenity of this area.