By Gordon Deegan
Dublin City Council has put on hold a luxury home revamp by a trust firm associated with billionaire Dermot Desmond over concerns that the proposals will compromise the stability and integrity of the structure and the neighbouring property.
Earlier this year, Celtic Trustees Ltd - which acts for a Trust associated with Mr Desmond’s family - lodged plans with the Council for a revamp of the home on millionaires’ row at 51 Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4.
The semi-detached Victorian House was put on the market with a guide price of €5.75m in October 2015 and documentation lodged with the city council confirm that Celtic Trustees Ltd now own the property.
Already, the Desmond associated Trust purchased one of the most sought after properties on Shrewsbury Road, Walford for €14.25m in December 2016.
The Sunday Times Rich List recently put a value of €2bn on Mr Desmond’s fortune and is ranked the 5th wealthiest person in the country.
In the revamp plans lodged for 51 Ailesbury Road, the Celtic Trustees Ltd is planning to construct a replacement single storey to the rear of the home and alterations to the lower ground floor, first and second floor levels.
Conservation Architect, David Slattery has told the City Council on behalf of the applicants that the proposed works will have minimal impact on the character of the house, which is a protected structure.
Mr Slattery states that the works “will enhance the historic fabric and architectural character of the house and significantly improve its amenity”.
He adds: “The proposed works are well considered and appropriate to the historic architectural character and fabric of the house. The works will improve the main living spaces and their connection to the rear garden. They are necessary for its use as a 21st century single family residence and will ensue its continued historic use as such.”
No objections have been lodged against the revamp proposals.
However, the plan has been put on hold by the City Council after a report confirms that its Conservation Officer “has concerns that there are significant alterations proposed that will compromise the stability and integrity of the structure as well as the immediate adjoining property at No.49”.
The Council state that in the absence of a structural engineers report and drawings, the Conservation Officer “has concerns that this excavation (of the ground floor) has the potential to severely damage the integrity of the party walls and could cause damage to the adjoining property at No.49”.
As a result, the Council is requesting that additional information to include a full structural appraisal, including structural engineers report detailing the extent of excavation involved.
The Council state: “This is to include details of the excavation works to the lower ground floor, floor strengthening works, and structural support works to support the demolition of the structural walls.”
The Council has also asked the Celtic Trustees Ltd to revise its plans for the lower ground floor level so that the original building can be clearly read.