Dublin 4 residents seeking to block house makeover

Some homeowners on the country’s most exclusive road are trying to block plans by one of their neighbours to carry out a house makeover that includes an underground cinema.

In November, Dublin City Council granted planning permission to the new owner of 7 Shrewsbury Rd, Aengus Kelly, chief executive of the aircraft leasing firm AerCap, and his wife, Deirdre Kelly, to build a new three-storey over-basement extension.

The couple bought the house, formerly-owned by the Priory Hall developer Larry O’Mahoney, for €4.8m last year.

As part of the plan, the Kellys secured planning for a 3,000sq ft subterranean level with a gym, shower room, playroom, wine cellar, cinema and kitchenette, accessed via a lift from the ground floor.

However, the Shrewsbury Rd Residential and Environmental Protection Association (SRREPA) have appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanala. Separate appeals have been lodged by other residents, including Kathy Smurfit, who is married to Michael Smurfit Jr.

The Residents Association made reference to the unique character of Shrewsbury Rd “and its exalted position as the premier showpiece residential roadway” within the Council’s jurisdiction.

Residents association chairman, Michael Maughan, said the overriding concern was “the very real danger” that a favourable decision for the proposed development would “open the flood gates to encourage property speculators to target other similar properties in the area”.

A decision is due to be made on the appeals by An Bord Pleanala in May.


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