Planning refused for Mount Merrion development at Kiely’s site

Resident Josepha Madigan says decision over five storey project ‘a victory’

Planning permission for a four to five storey development with a cafe, restaurant, and 46 residential dwelling units in Mount Merrion, Co Dublin, has been refused by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

The application was made by businessmen Paddy McKillen Jr and Matthew Ryan at the site of the former Kiely’s Public House on Deerpark Road, North Avenue and Wilson Road.

Several months ago, the Kiely’s site was purchased by the businessmen who opened Union Café with a deli, wine shop and grocers at the front, while the pub underwent a refurbishment and name change to Kennedy’s.

Mr McKillen Jr and Mr Ryan sought permission to demolish the existing four storey building containing the pub and café/restaurant and to construct a four to five storey mixed use building with 15,800sq m of floor space.


The plans included parking for retail customers (113 cars), residential car parking (72 cars, 46 bicycles), a 1,300sq m retail unit, a service yard, and ancillary facilities.

Furthermore, the plans included a 350sq m gymnasium, a 265sq m café, three further retail units totalling 450sq m, an open public terrace, a 410sq m restaurant, a 200sq m pub, two courtyards with a play area, a roof garden, and 46 residential dwelling units.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council refused planning permission on the grounds the project’s “scale, siting, layout, bulk and height”, which would “not comprise an appropriate design”.

“Having regard to the subject site’s prominent location and to its varying levels, coupled with the established pattern of development and sensitivities of the area, which include protected views and prospects as well as protected structures; it is considered that the proposed development, by reason of scale, siting, layout, bulk and height, would not comprise an appropriate design response,” said the council.

“[It] would relate poorly to its receiving environment; seriously detracting from the area in terms of visual amenity,” continued the council. “The proposed development would therefore seriously injure the amenity of property in the vicinity and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

The proposed development had generated 336 official objections. The Mount Merrion Residents’ Association said the number of complaints was “one of the largest ever” in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown to a single planning application.

Fine Gael TD and Mount Merrion resident Josepha Madigan described the decision as “a victory for local residents”.

“This proposed development would be a Gulliver like building, placed in the heart of Lilliput,” she said. “Mount Merrion is primarily a mature neighbourhood of family homes. I appreciate that there is a need for housing and these issues need to be addressed.

“However, all development should be proportionate to the area. This proposed development would dominate the whole area. This is an area of suburban homes and this development is completely out of step with the local community.

“It is would be more likely to be seen in suburban Hong Kong, than in suburban Dublin. Development that is sympathetic and suitable to the area is welcome, but this development is neither.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter