Johnny's vision for suburbs site faces height row
JOHNNY Ronan's Treasury Holdings awaits a planning decision which will determine the value of a key Dublin site.
The international property company has applied to extend the time of planning approval it received for the Blake's site in Stillorgan.
Final permission was granted in 2005 for a 12-storey landmark development to include 164 apartments and restaurants.
Treasury has now applied to extend the time within which it is allowed to build the project.
The original permission ran out last month. However, a ruling in favour of the company is far from a formality.
This emerged from a meeting of the Dundrum Area Committee of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council this week.
At the meeting, planners made clear they will have to take into account the Stillorgan local area plan (LAP) when coming to their decision.
The LAP, which was brought in subsequent to the 2005 decision, places restrictions on building heights in the south Dublin suburb.
One source told the Herald that while the planners did not say the application would be refused, councillors were of the opinion the plans might not comply with the LAP.
If the scheme was turned down, it would reduce the value of the site.
Families in the Stillorgan area have already come out against the application.
The Stillorgan District Community and Residents Alliance wrote to Dun Laoghaire council to say it objected to "any extension of the permission".
It claims that conditions which were to be fulfilled before the time limit is extended were not complied with.
These include a stipulation that "substantial works" have to be undertaken on any given project before the permission is renewed.
"Substantial works were not carried out during the planning period, indeed no work at all has commenced to date and the site is boarded up," the association stated.
Heritage body An Taisce submitted that the Stillorgan LAP was adopted in October 2007, "making significant changes in the development objectives in the development plan".
It added that Treasury's proposal "would no longer be consistent with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area".
"It appears that a new planning application will be required," said An Taisce.
"In our view, the development of the main sites in Stillorgan must be achieved by the landowners working in conjunction with the council to achieve visual harmony and the enhancement of the pedestrian environment."
Dun Laoghaire planners are due to make their decision shortly.