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Top CEO objects to D4 co-living plans over Covid-19 fears

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Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland objected to the D4 development

Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland objected to the D4 development

Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland objected to the D4 development

One of the country's best paid CEOs is fighting against plans for a 111-bed shared co-living space proposal for Ballsbridge in Dublin 4.

CEO of Aryzta Kevin Toland and his wife Aisling have lodged an objection against the five-storey Bartra Capital proposal for Merrion Road.

In their one-page objection, the Tolands express Covid-19 fears over the proposal and urge Dublin City Council "please reject this planning application".

The Tolands state: "Covid-19 has struck every country in the world, the very nature of co-living would have the potential of spreading the virus even further. It could endanger the local community at large.

"We were very surprised that a proposal of this nature would even be considered during a world-wide pandemic," the objection adds.

Proposal

Last year Mr Toland was the second-best paid Irish CEO working at publicly listed companies, when he received a total remuneration package of €4.1m from the Cuisine de France firm.

Documents lodged with the Bartra plan state the proposal has been designed to carefully avoid overlooking neighbouring properties.

However, others to weigh in with objections against the plan now include former Irish Sugar MD and Ailesbury Road resident Chris Comerford, Dublin Green MEP Ciarán Cuffe, and Sinn Féin TD Chris Andrews.

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, and a residents' group representing Shrewsbury Road residents, have also lodged objections.

The Tolands bought their Merrion Road home in 2013 and in their objection against Bartra they claim the proposal "is a complete eyesore".

The Tolands state they "understood when we purchased here that the area was zoned residential and that all amenities were supposed to be protected and improved".

In response to the Tolands' Covid-19 concerns, CEO of Bartra Capital Mike Flannery stated yesterday an independent medical expert who has examined the Bartra plan has determined the risks of (Covid-19) transmission would be less for Bartra residents than for people in a shared apartment.

Mr Flannery said the assessment found the self-contained nature of the suites reduces the risk of transmission and makes suites ideal for self-isolation if required.

"We are more than happy to engage with Nphet, or any equivalent Government body on the public health provisions of shared living." Mr Flannery said.

A decision by Dublin City Council is due on the Merrion Road proposal next week.