Noel Smyth re­news plans for Leop­ard­stown Road scheme as devel­op­ers vie for suit­able build­ing sites

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Property The Market -

Solicitor-turned-de­vel­oper Noel Smyth is re­viv­ing his plans to re­de­velop a site on Leop­ard­stown Road in Dublin 18. The 0.73 hectare (1.8 acre) site was for­merly oc­cu­pied by a house named Rock­lawn, which was razed af­ter an en­tity as­so­ci­ated with the de­vel­oper, named Wex­ele, ac­quired the prop­erty in 2005.

A dif­fer­ent en­tity linked to Smyth, named Bridge­clip De­vel­op­ments, has ap­plied this month for plan­ning per­mis­sion on the site for 42 new homes, com­pris­ing 26 apart­ments (one-, two- and three-bed units) and 16 three-bed town­houses.

In 2007 at the height of the mar­ket, Smyth had am­bi­tions to de­velop 100 apart­ments in blocks of up to six storeys on the site.

His com­pany was re­fused plan­ning per­mis­sion by the lo­cal coun­cil and later by An Bord Pleanála fol­low­ing an ap­peal. The pro­posal in­cluded 125 base­ment park­ing spa­ces, whereas the lat­est plans in­clude pro­vi­sions for 58 car park­ing spa­ces at sur­face level, which should re­sult in sig­nif­i­cant con­struc­tion cost sav­ings.

It is not known whether Smyth plans to de­velop the site him­self should plan­ning be granted, or if he will sell it to cash in on the pent-up de­mand for ready-to-go sites.

In 2016, a com­pany re­lated to Smyth se­cured plan­ning per­mis­sion for an of­fice de­vel­op­ment nearby on Arkle Road in Sandy­ford and sub­se­quently sold it to a Lon­don-based de­vel­oper. Ac­cord­ing to the re­cent Knight Frank

‘‘ It is not known whether Smyth plans to de­velop the site him­self should plan­ning be granted, or if he will sell it to cash in on the pent-up de­mand for ready-to-go sites

the lack of avail­abil­ity of suit­able sites was iden­ti­fied as the big­gest ob­sta­cle to con­struc­tion among devel­op­ers who were sur­veyed.

This is a marked change from 2017, when the lack of sites was ranked in third place and when low res­i­den­tial sales prices were iden­ti­fied as the main ob­sta­cle.

The sur­vey notes the in­creas­ing trend of devel­op­ers buy­ing sites with­out plan­ning per­mis­sion, but Smyth’s site would be much more at­trac­tive to devel­op­ers and fun­ders alike should plan­ning be granted, if he does not de­velop it him­self.

The Rock­lawn site is just around the cor­ner from Smyth’s home Lisieux Hall on Mur­phys­town Road. Last year he suc­cess­fully ob­tained plan­ning per­mis­sion to re­de­velop the man­sion’s grounds fol­low­ing his com­pany’s ap­pli­ca­tion for 69 new homes, com­pris­ing 17 houses and 52 apart­ments.

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