Plan for home on front lawn of Sorrento Road house must be scaled back

Neighbours have opposed John Feeney’s plan for exclusive Dalkey address

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has told John Feeney to scale back his contentious plan to build a family home on the front lawn of his €5.85 million Sorrento Road home, Monte Alverno in Dalkey, south Dublin.

The plan by Mr Feeney to construct the four-bedroom family home is already facing opposition from neighbours on one of Ireland’s most exclusive addresses, as well as from Dalkey Community Council. Now the county council planners are seeking revised plans, expressing concern over the scale of the plan. In a letter they have asked Mr Feeney to scale back the proposal.

The revisions required in the scheme would be more pronounced but for the intervention of a senior council official in the planning file.

The case planner in the planning report advised that the applicant “significantly” revise the scale and extent of the scheme. However, “significantly” is crossed out by pen and initialled by an approved officer, resulting in the omission of the word “significantly” in the letter that was sent to Mr Feeney.

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The case planner’s report states that “while the principle of an infill dwelling at the site is considered acceptable, further details are required”.

Mr Feeney’s Victorian Monte Alverno overlooks Killiney Bay. Residential Property Price Register data shows that Monte Alverno was bought in December 2021 for €5.85 million. It has six bedrooms, is a protected structure and extents to 8,500sq ft. The planning application seeks to build a two-storey, flat-roofed, four-bedroom home in Monte Alverno’s front garden.

A six-page architectural design report by extend.ie, lodged with the plans, says “the new house will provide a much needed additional family home in a serviced site on appropriately zoned land”.

However, neighbours and the Dalkey Community Council are objecting to the scheme.

Neighbours Dr Ian Daly and Dr Anne Cleary of Capri, Sorrento Road, have lodged an objection On their behalf David Armstrong of Armstrong Planning contends that “the proposed development will fundamentally alter the character of the area and spoil the special contribution that Mount Alverno house makes to the setting of the Architectural Conservation Area”.

In the Dalkey Community Council objection chairperson Dr Susan McDonnell contends that the scale, mass and density of the proposed development “is out of context and will be visually obtrusive at this prominent site”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times