Dermot Bannon wins 'open bath tub' planning battle with neighbour

Dermot Bannon wins 'open bath tub' planning battle with neighbour

Celebrity architect, Dermot Bannon has emerged victorious in his ‘outdoor bath-tub’ planning battle with a neighbour at his revamped Dublin home.

This follows Dublin City Council granting planning retention for Mr Bannon’s two storage sheds and a covered external space that houses the much talked about open bath tub at his family home at Valentia Rd in Drumcondra.

In January, 640,000 RTÉ viewers watched on as Bannon in his back yard bathtub celebrated with celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin as they surveyed the completion of the the €600,000 revamp job on the house Bannon purchased for €895,000.

The two part ‘Room to Improve’ on the renovation was a massive ratings winner for RTE.

However, it transpired that Bannon didn’t have planning permission for the outdoor structures where the outdoor tub is located at the end of the Bannon garden and an application was lodged to retain the structures on January 31st with Dublin City Council.

The application only came after planners opened an enforcement file and issued a warning letter concerning the structures.

The drawings lodged by Mr Bannon’s architectural practice show the two storage sheds and the external bath covered by a canopy.

In response to the planning application, a neighbour on Valentia Rd, Susan Taylor lodged an objection with the Council against the retention of the two storage sheds covering 17.3m2 and the covered external space covering 20.2sq m.

Ms Taylor told the council that “the structure is not in keeping with the character of the area constructed of corrugated metal roof”.

Ms Taylor also argued that “the use of the proposed development is not in keeping with the residential amenity of the area as evidenced by the exposed and open bath tub”.

Ms Taylor told the Council “the application for development should be refused”.

However, the Council has now granted planning retention for the structures after a planner recommended the green light for the proposal.

As part of the five conditions attached to the permission, the Council has stated that the storage sheds shall not be used for human habitation or for the keeping of pigs, poultry, pigeons, ponies or horses or for any use other than as a use incidental to the enjoyment of the home.

The Council has also attached a condition that the storage sheds shall not be put to commercial use, and their use shall be only incidental to the enjoyment of the principal dwelling on site.

The city council planner in the case stated that the concerns expressed by Ms Taylor have been taken into account in the assessment of the application.

The planner recommended that planning be granted after concluding that “the sheds are well designed and contemporary in their appearance.”

The planner stated: “Due to their attractive and high quality design the visual amenities of the property will be enhanced.”

The report added: “Having regard to their single-storey nature, overall height and proximity to party boundaries they will not result in any undue overshadowing, any overlooking or have an overbearing impact on any adjoining properties.

It further added: “The objection received states that their use is not appropriate in this residential area.”

Celebrity gardener, Diarmuid Gavin
Celebrity gardener, Diarmuid Gavin

However, the planner stated that “their use for storage and other ancillary residential purposes is considered by the planning authority to be entirely appropriate“.

The Council report further stated that the objection does “not warrant ground for invalidation or grounds for refusal”.

The report concluded that the proposed development to be retained “would not seriously injure the amenities of the local area, or of the property in the vicinity”.

“The proposed development to be retained would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”

Mr Bannon has previously talked about why he wanted an outdoor bath, saying: "I love sea swimming and I love the hot and the cold so we have put a bath outside the house."

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