The company that acquired Ireland’s most expensive house was entitled to apply to develop the site, a Bord Pleanála hearing has been told.
The claim was made by planning consultant Ray Ryan, for Yesreb Holding Ltd, that wants to renovate and extend the Edwardian house on Dublin’s Shrewsbury Road and build four houses on the site.
Gayle Killilea, wife of developer Sean Dunne, bought the house on an almost two-acre site in 2005 for €58m. It remains the highest price paid for a house in Ireland.
A number of residents opposed the development and it has been claimed Mr Dunne may still have an interest in the property.
Walford was acquired for €14m by Yesreb Holding last year but the sale had not yet been registered.
Dublin City Council granted permission for most of the development last March but restricted the number of new buildings to three.
Mr Ryan said Yesreb was a Cypriot company but he believed it was entitled to make a planing application in Ireland.
While the name of the applicant was required under law, it did not specify that it should be the name of a person. “The planning legislation requirements have been met in that regard,” he said.
Mr Ryan said the application was validated by the city council. Yesreb Holding was not a shelf company and the issue of enforceability was “a complete red herring”.
The position was that Yesreb was the applicant and had an address, and if there was an enforceable issue it was where it would be addressed to.
He did not know how far the various parties involved had gone to establish who was behind Yesreb — they probably knew more than he did but he did not know how that was relevant to the hearing.
Earlier, planning consultant Ann Mulcrone, speaking on behalf of Stephen MacKenzie, a resident on the road, asked why the council had inspected the site in relation to the application.
The sole inspector dealing with the case, Robert Ryan, said he would make his recommendation to the board, together with documentation and a recording of the hearing.
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