Dunne blames ‘snobs’ for blocking Ballsbridge scheme
Property developer Seán Dunne says a “snobbish element” in Ballsbridge opposed his high-rise scheme for the Dublin 4 site. An Bord Pleanála last week refused permission for Mr Dunne’s plan to build a €1.5 billion residential, retail and office development, including a 37-storey tower, on the site of the former Jurys and Berkeley Court hotels which he bought for €450 million. “At the oral appeal a lot of people and some of the residents referred to themselves as ‘people of means’. So I think there is a snobbish element with Ballsbridge, about Ballsbridge. I actually live in Ballsbridge, it is full of very nice people but there are an element of people who think that they speak for Ireland when they speak for Ballsbridge,” he said. Speaking on the Lunchtime with Eamon Keane show on Newstalk, Mr Dunne said the planning process “brought out I suppose to a certain extent the worst of the local residents and councillors working in tandem and fighting against me on the project”. Asked if he was still solvent, Mr Dunne said: “Sean Dunne as an individual is 100 per cent solvent”. However, he said “there are not many companies in Ireland today that are probably solvent and that’s just a reality of life”.