Kildare County Council has given the green light for the large house extension plan by MMA fighter Conor McGregor.
The application was initially rejected in October after the council told Mr McGregor that the proposed extension was “inappropriate” for the 5.8 acre site located 1km from the village of Straffan.
Council planners told the Crumlin native that the proposal was inappropriate “by virtue of its proposed length, scale and massing” and sought additional information on the proposal.
However, after a comprehensive submission made by Mr McGregor’s planning consultant, Kevin Hughes, the council has now granted planning permission with 14 conditions attached.
The council planning report concluded that “whilst the proposed development is considered to have a larger than typical footprint and contemporary design, the subject site is well screened and can accommodate such a development with minimal visual impact”.
The report said that the applicant “has submitted comprehensive assessments to address the concerns raised by the planning authority”.
The planner’s report said that “all issues in relation to impact of development on the adjoining properties, character of the area and natural landscape have been addressed with a detailed Visual Impact Assessment and analysis of County Development Plan policy”.
It said the applicant had demonstrated that the proposed development, which has a significant mass and scale, “has nonetheless minimal visual impact on this sensitive and rural location and in most locations cannot be seen”.
It concluded that while the proposed development has a significant scale in terms of average extension development in the countryside “it does not adversely impact on the existing dwelling on site or the dwellings adjacent”.
The council said the response by Hughes Planning & Development Consultants "provides a justification for the significant size of the proposed extension".
In his response to the council on behalf of Conor McGregor, Mr Hughes argued that the extension had a “simple” design and complements the existing home at the site.
Mr Hughes told the council that the scale and design of the proposed extension did not detract from the existing dwelling on the site, which is bounded on one side by the River Liffey.
Requesting that planning permission be granted for the extension, Mr Hughes told the council that the proposed extension will result in a home that is simple in form, of excellent proportion and is at a scale which responds to the size of the site.
In the response to the council, Mr Hughes said the extension, though it may be considered large in scale, “is sensitive to the dwelling and its surrounds”.
Mr Hughes said the proposal “improves the quality of the structure while also improving the amenity to its occupants”.
No third party objections were lodged against the planned extension for the Paddocks home at Castledillon close to the K Club.
The MMA fighter acquired the property in a €3 million deal in July 2019 from Albert Reynolds, jnr, the son of the former taoiseach.
The planning application submitted to Kildare County Council on behalf of Mr McGregor and his partner, Deirdre 'Dee' Devlin, outlines the planned significant alterations and additions to the house’s current configuration.
The proposed works include the demolition of the existing detached garage and the construction of a part-single, part-one-and-a-half-storey extension to the front, side and rear of the property.
The scheme also includes relocating the house’s tennis court and to build a partially sunken basement under it that would contain a car park and gym.
The lodging of the planning application followed shortly after Mr McGregor topped the Forbes list of being named the highest paid athlete in the world for 2020/21.
Forbes estimated that in the 12 months to the end of May this year, Mr McGregor earned $180 million (€153 million).
The figure includes $158 million from endorsements and the sale of a majority stake in his whiskey brand.
One of the conditions attached to the permission requires €35,823 to be paid in planning contributions.
Planning files at Kildare County Council showed that Ms Devlin gave Mr McGregor's personal assistant consent to seek planning permission on their behalf for works on their home in Castledillon.