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Conor McGregor proposes new six-storey apartment block at Marble Arch pub site in Dublin after earlier plan rejected



The alternative 72-apartment ­six-storey proposal put forward by McGregor’s Emrajare Ltd to An Bord Pleanála is a 36pc decrease on the original eight-storey scheme that was last month subject to a comprehensive ­rejection by Dublin City Council (DCC).

The new proposal is contained in an appeal to An Bord Pleanála against the council’s refusal of the 113-unit scheme.

The appeal, lodged by consultants Tom Phillips + Associates, argues that the grounds for refusal of the scheme are “entirely unfounded” because it constitutes “a wholly appropriate scale and form of development” for the site.

The alternative scheme by C+W O’Brien Architects rises from two to six storeys and has 41 fewer apartments.

The mixed-use scheme involves the demolition of the Marble Arch pub that McGregor bought for a reported €1.5m to €2m, three years ago.

C+W O’Brien Architects also designed the original scheme and Aoife McCarthy, an associate at Tom Phillips + Associates, argues that the original 113-unit scheme should be granted planning permission and contends it has been designed to ensure the provision of high-quality apartment units. Ms McCarthy also states that the building heights of the original scheme “are fully appropriate”, saying that the scheme “offers a unique opportunity to deliver high-density residential development, as reflected in the permissions granted in the vicinity of the site”.

Ms McCarthy states that the scheme “constitutes a high-quality contemporary design” and the development “will have a positive impact on the qualities of the Grand Canal/Davitt Road area”.

Ms McCarthy also states that the redevelopment of the site to provide high-density residential development fully supports a policy objective of the Dublin City Development Plan.

More than 20 objections were lodged against the scheme and, in a comprehensive rejection, DCC refused permission on four separate grounds.

The council declined to give permission “due to its design”, saying the “excessive scale and density would constitute overdevelopment of the restricted site and create an overly dominant and incongruous development”.

The planning authority also said the scheme “would have an overbearing impact and result in undue overlooking of adjacent residential properties”.

The council stated that the scheme would significantly detract from the visual amenities of the area and seriously injure the amenities of property in the vicinity.

The Emrajare site lies adjacent to the ‘Heidelberg site’ bought by McGregor, which has planning permission for a nine-storey 188 build-to-rent apartment scheme.

A number of objections were lodged by or on behalf of elderly people who have been living for decades on the Galtymore Road in Drimnagh, and they will now be able to make submissions to An Bord Pleanála on the Marble Arch appeal.

Maureen and Thomas Clancy live to the rear of the proposed development and, in their objection, Maureen Clancy said: “My husband and I are in our 80th year and have health problems. I don’t want the wall at the end of my garden touched or upset.”

Mrs Clancy said: “The congestion of the road is dreadful. We worked hard enough to buy our home without getting all the crap that is going on and the fear of any high apartments behind us. We like our privacy. After all, it is not too much to ask for?”

On behalf of Galtymore Road residents Kell and Mary Cheevers, chartered engineer Michael Rogers told the council that the applicants “are shoe-horning the maximum number of small units into the site, too close to neighbouring dwellings with no apparent regard for privacy or amenity of same”.

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