From U2 to Van Morrison, and from veteran TV presenter Pat Kenny to film director Jim Sheridan, well-known figures in Ireland are no stranger to disputes with their neighbors and planning bodies over issues affecting their own homes or neighborhoods.
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Dalkey and Killiney millionaires row in south Dublin – colloquially known as ‘Dalkey sur Mer’ – features in several of these high profile planning rows.
Their disputes precede recent planning disputes among high-profile homeowners, after former Kerry GAA star Paul Galvin and his wife, former Today FM presenter Louise Duffy, became the latest celebrities to be embroiled in a planning dispute with their neighbors.
The Galvin-Duffy case involves a dispute over a proposed extension to their home in Ranelagh, south Dublin, in which neighbors have appealed a Dublin City Council decision to authorize the construction of an additional storey to their bungalow.
Meanwhile, Pat Kenny and local residents emerged victorious from a recent battle with developer Richard Barrett’s Bartra Property (Dublin) over his redevelopment plans for Bulloch Harbor near Dalkey.
The Newstalk host and his wife Kathy were among local residents opposed to the developer’s plans for a mixed-use dockside complex – located near their 1988 home, The Anchorage. They said this would change Bulloch Harbor’s “welcoming ambiance absolutely, forever”.
Last March, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown District Council refused planning permission for a number of reasons including a potential risk of flooding.
In June 2021, the same council refused planning permission for Bartra’s plans for a 104-bed nursing home on the site, which the Kennys argued, among other things, would endanger the local badger population. In their submission, the couple claimed that “the straight-forward, commercial enterprise cannot justify the killing of Bulloch Harbor badgers.”
However, the council denied planning permission after stating that the proposed nursing home would “impair the residential convenience of neighboring properties due to its overlooked and obtrusive appearance” and “would distract from the area’s existing visual and residential amenities, which would depreciate the value of properties in.” nearby, and if allowed, set an undesirable precedent for similar development in the area”.
The same council also heard objections from Ali Hewson, wife of U2 frontman Bono, and other local residents to plans for a mixed-use development on Killiney beachfront, including a restaurant, shop, an extension and refurbishment of two apartments and the construction of five chalets for rent.
Ms Hewson said she, her husband and children have enjoyed a right of way access to scenic Killiney Beach from their Temple Hill home for the past 30 years.
The Council Planning Report noted that the developer must demonstrate how to give way and concluded that the proposed mixed-use development is generally acceptable.
A decade earlier, however, the same council approved a request by U2 guitarist The Edge to convert a two-storey cottage in Dalkey overlooking Killiney Bay into a dream home – only for An Bord Pleanála to eventually reverse the approval after an appeal by the An Taisce probate board.
The musician, who applied for planning permission under his real name David Evans, had hoped to demolish an existing single storey extension, conservatory and garage at Sorrento Cottage on Vico Road in 2001, leaving just 185 square meters of the existing structure.
He was hoping to add a 6,000-square-foot, two-story annex with six bedrooms, a bar, elevator, dark room, gym and garage. The state planning committee rejected the plan on the grounds that it was “visually disturbing” and would impair a sea view that is worth protecting.
The guitarist still hadn’t found what he was looking for nearly two decades later when he lost a 14-year battle with planning officials in California over a row of eco-friendly homes called “Leaves in the Wind” along the Malibu coast to build.
He bought the 151-acre property in 2005 for $9 million and had unsuccessfully tried to get a permit to build on the land. He took the case all the way to the California Supreme Court after objections from environmentalists, including the Sierra Club. However, the state Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that it would not hear the case.
Closer to home, fellow musician Van Morrison also made headlines in 2008 when the Belfast singer became involved in a dispute with his neighbors over plans to refurbish his posh Kilross House estate in Dalkey. The Supreme Court granted its Sorrento Road neighbors an injunction to prevent work being carried out on a common driveway.
An application submitted to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council under the name of GI Morrison (George Ivan) included plans to widen the driveway and erect a series of perimeter walls and to install a sundeck on the flat roof of the property.
The council gave permission for the work, but then the singer’s former wife, Michelle (Rocca) Morrison, was embroiled in a dispute with neighbors Conor and Eileen Kavanagh, in which Ms Morrison claimed it involved home renovations and landscaping work in the The Kavanaghs’ home in Mount Alverno they disturbed their view of the sea from their home.
The case eventually ended up in the High Court, which ruled in 2015 that Ms Morrison would have to pay legal fees for both parties after abandoning the case as it was just short of day five in court.
The singer, meanwhile, issued a public statement afterwards, saying he “didn’t take part” in the court case and didn’t want to be included in any future references to the trial of his wife, who he legally separated from in 2013.
Her former neighbor, filmmaker Jim Sheridan, sold his old house overlooking Dalkey Island for €2.3million in 2015 after settling a High Court damages claim against companies over alleged defective work on the house. He was then involved in a dispute with neighbors at another property in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
He had received permission from An Bord Pleanála to build a two-bedroom stable on the property that would become his primary residence. But its neighbors opposed the development, claiming there was a problem with a new perimeter wall and that the new building would constitute “unreasonable over-development”.
In the end, An Bord Pleanála sided with the Oscar-nominated director and decided that the proposed development of the Victorian brick home, which is a listed building, would not have any adverse impact on the character or setting of the building or area.
https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/homes/dalkey-sur-mer-how-celebrities-residing-in-dublin-coastal-village-are-no-strangers-to-planning-disputes-41890897.html “Dalkey sur Mer”? How celebrities who live in a seaside Dublin village are no strangers to planning disputes