Identity of Shrewsbury Road homeowner ‘irrelevant’ to redevelopment application
Property not registered, owner unknown: ‘So we don’t know if owner has consented’
Walford, a detached house on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin, was sold for €14m last year to Yesreb Holdings Ltd, a Cypriot-registered company whose owners have not been revealed.
The identity of the beneficial owners of Ireland’s most expensive house on Dublin’s most exclusive road is irrelevant to proceedings, a Bord Pleanála hearing on the property’s redevelopment has been told.
“Walford”, a detached house at 24 Shrewsbury Road in Dublin on a site of just under two acres, was sold for €14 million last year to Yesreb Holdings Ltd, a Cypriot-registered company whose owners have not been revealed.
Gayle Killilea, wife of developer Sean Dunne, bought the house in 2005 for €58 million. Mr Dunne had “gifted” the money to his wife to purchase the property.
Yesreb sought permission to develop and extend the house and build four new houses on the grounds. Dublin City Council granted permission in March for the development on condition that the number of new houses was reduced to three. Yesreb is appealing the reduction while a number of residents on Shrewsbury Road have appealed against the entire development.
In closing submissions on the third day of the hearing, planner Anne Mulcrone, acting for neighbouring resident Stephen MacKenzie, said “the true nature and identity of the applicant is crucial”.
Ms Mulcrone, a former president of the Irish Planning Institute, said the land had not been registered, so the application was not registered. The owner was not known “so we don’t know if the owner has consented” to the application.
She also said there was a difficulty in implementing planning conditions where the identity of the applicant wasn’t known. Town planning had to be incorruptible and for this to happen, transparency was essential and the true nature and identity of the planning proposer had to be known. The authority could not have shelf companies making applications to avoid their responsibilities.
‘Red herring’Planner Ray Ryan, for Yesreb, denied it was a shelf company and said the issue of enforceability of planning conditions was a “complete red herring”.
“There is nothing to say that somebody getting permission today wouldn’t sell the site tomorrow and the very same position would pertain.”
Cáit Ryan, executive planner for the council said the house was not a protected structure and the inspection carried out had been appropriate for the application.
The decision on the appeal has been reserved.