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Locals urge Wicklow Council to refuse former Anglo Irish Bank chair Sean Fitzpatrick planning permission for a new house

17th September 2021

Local residents have urged Wicklow County Council to refuse a planning application by former Anglo Irish Bank chairman, Sean Fitzpatrick to build a new house near Greytones.

The Burnaby Residents Association lodged an objection against the plan by Mr Fitzpatrick and his wife, Caitriona for a two storey four bedroomed home at Meadow Garden, Farm Lane in the Old Burnaby area of Greystones.

At ground level, each of the four bedrooms would have access to a veranda off the main garden while at first floor level, a family room, a living room and kitchen/dining room will all have direct access to an external terrace.

The proposed home is next door to a site where the Fitzpatricks secured planning permission for a four bedroomed home last December, at the Meadow Garden site which lies close to Greystones Golf Club.

Mr Fitzpatrick lost control of the Meadow Garden site when he was declared a bankrupt in 2010 with debts of €147m.

Mr Fitzpatrick was discharged from bankruptcy in 2014 and Caitriona Fitzpatrick bought back the Meadow Garden site in 2017 from her husband’s bankruptcy trustee.

In response to the the new home proposal, chairman of the Burnaby Residents Association, Liam Sweeney, has told the council that the proposed development “would be out of character with the existing pattern of the area and would represent a crammed form of development”.

Mr Sweeney said the scheme would seriously injure the amenities of the area.

Referring to the permission for the other house at the site, Mr Sweeney has told the council “the manner in which the site is being sequentially carved up for development leaves concerns that additional housing units may be proposed on what remains a cramped and inaccessible site”.

Mr Sweeney said “the association is keen to ensure that the essential character of the Burnaby Estate is preserved and in particular not eroded or undermined by incremental development and depletion of the original built fabric and surrounding curtilage”.

Mr Sweeney claimed “a key part of the character of the Burnaby Estate is that there are large family homes originally constructed on generous sites with a sylvan character”.

He told the council “any proposed interventions to these sites or this character must be critically analysed to ensure that they do not undermine the character of the area”.

Mr Sweeney urged the council to refuse permission for the development as not being in the interests of proper planning and sustainable development.

Planning consultant for the Fitzpatricks, Kevin Hughes told the councilthe proposed development “has been designed to the highest quality, in terms of scale, height, massing and finishing materials, to ensure that there is no detriment caused to the amenity of adjoining neighbours or the character and appearance of the area”.

Mr Hughes said it is further submitted the development will not give rise to any significant negative impact on the visual amenity of the immediate area which is located within the Burnaby Architectural Conservation Area.

Mr Hughes said the density of the site is compliant with the council’s vision for the site.

The Fitzpatricks held on to their primary place of residence, Camaderry, next to Greystones Golf Club after Mr Fitzpatrick was declared a bankrupt in 2010.

In May 2017 Mr Fitzpatrick was acquitted on criminal counts of allegedly misleading Anglo’s auditors about tens of millions of euro in loans concealed from the public between 2002 and 2007.

He resigned as chairman of the bank in December 2008, almost a month before it was nationalised, after the true extent of his loans, amounting to around €122m, were disclosed by the bank.

A decision is due on the application next month.

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