Crosbie’s flouting of planning law ‘unnecessary’

WEXFORD County Council has expressed dismay at the flouting of its planning laws by millionaire property developer Harry Crosbie.

Last month the council refused an application submitted by Mr Crosbie’s wife, Rita, to conduct coastal protection works near the couple’s holiday home at Kilgorman, Co Wexford.

However, work involving a crane and other trucks, started last Monday.

In a letter to the council, Mrs Crosbie’s agents said the coastal defence works, consisting of 122 metres of rock, would proceed unless they heard from the council within seven days.

The council says the work does not have the necessary planning permission and is within a special area of conservation. The house is situated at Clones Lower, Kilgorman and, according to the council, is not threatened by coastal erosion.

The council has since written to the agents ordering the couple to halt work immediately and comply with planning regulations.

“The application was received last November and planning was refused on March 11, because we were not satisfied that the proposed coastal protection works would not have an adverse impact on the adjoining coastline,” said Niall McDonnell, senior executive officer in the council’s planning department.

“There was inadequate information to assess the impact of the development on the adjoining special area of conservation and it would therefore be contrary to proper planning,” he added.

The council believes that the proposed works would require not only council planning but also a foreshore licence, as well as sanction from both the Department of the Environment and the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources.

“It is not unusual for someone to reapply and address the reasons for refusal. We would be happy to talk to the Crosbies,” said Mr McDonnell.

“We have done an erosion study of that area and would be happy to make it available to him. The house is not at all seriously threatened and is unlikely to be in the next 40 to 50 years.

“If the works continue we will be obliged to take proceedings. We apply the law fairly and equally. We don’t consider the response to be arrogant but we find it upsetting and disappointing.”

Mr Crosbie could not be contacted for comment last evening.

Harry Crosbie: Plans for Dublin

Harry Crosbie is a highly successful entrepreneur, with a large property portfolio in Dublin’s docklands.

More than 12 years ago, a proposal by Mr Crosbie to build an apartment block on Dublin’s North Wall campshire was rejected by the city planners and An Bord Pleanála.

However, last July his Point Village Company bought the 2,200-seat theatre under construction at Grand Canal Square.

The €100 million theatre is the third big performance venue planned for the docklands, following the redevelopment of the Point — also owned by Mr Crosbie — and the planned move of the Abbey Theatre to the area.

Mr Crosbie is also planning to double the size of the Point Theatre on North Wall Quay to seat up to 15,000 people, investing €850m in creating a village of shops, homes, offices, restaurants and cafes. He has signed up Dunnes Stores to be the anchor tenant with a 150,000-sq-ft store.

He has also signed up chef Marco Pierre White to open a brasserie in the Point Village called Hell’s Kitchen.

He also plans a 39-storey building called the Watchtower.

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