Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Plans reveal new Robinson pad will have bedroom as big as a house

First Minister Peter Robinson

These are the plush plans that the first couple of Ulster politics have for a new country pad on a greenbelt site towering over Stormont.

First Minister Peter Robinson and wife Iris have identified the site for their dream home just yards up the road from their current Dundonald house.

And Sunday Life today reveals the exclusive plans the couple have had drawn up for the luxury mansion as he prepares to quit Westminster politics.

The plan includes a massive master bedroom — bigger than the size of an average terraced house in his constituency!

According to a planning application for the land made by Helen’s Bay-based architects Alan Patterson Design, the site overlooking Dundonald is on an area defined as greenbelt.

And the proposed development is not for anyone involved in agriculture. Instead, the occupation of the proposed occupant is given as ‘civil servant’.

Among the detailed plans, which have already been granted approval, is the layout of Iris Robinson’s dream landscaped gardens.

Iris, whose hobby is horticulture, has planned for a variety of trees and shrubs including Viburnum Tinus — known as ‘Eve Price’ and Choisya Ternanta, more commonly known as ‘Sundance’, and Potenilla or ‘Red Robin’. And plans for landscaped gardens show that the property it is to be surrounded on two sides by a substantial ditch — which could leave the First Minister open to charges of building a moat to match that of Tory toff Douglas Hogg.

Any visitors who make it past the ‘moat’ would proceed through a vast entrance hall which leads in a grand Dining Hall where the First Minister and his wife would expect to entertain visiting dignitaries.

Dinner guests would then retire to the adjoining Drawing Room or the expansive Reading and Garden Rooms that lead off it.

But it is the Robinsons’ Master Bedroom that will most interest the taxpayers who fund the couple’s lavish lifestyle.

The couple’s chambers would dwarf many of the homes in the First Minister’s East Belfast constituency.

A typical two up, two down terrace house in the Bloomfield area measures about 60 square metres, but Iris and Peter’s bedroom, along with the adjoining dressing room and ensuite bathroom, measures a whopping 83 square metres.

Three other substantial bedrooms all have their own ensuite bathrooms.

And the couple even have what appear to be His & Hers Games Rooms upstairs in the house. Plans show two substantial adjoining study/games rooms.

Last week Sunday Life revealed the couple had been planning their dream home in the hills above Dundonald, with views stretching from Stormont around to Strangford Lough and Iris Robinson’s Westminster constituency for a number of years. Residents in the area have said it is a poorly guarded secret that the Robinsons are hoping to build on the site, where there has been an increase in building activity recently as developers continue to level off the hilltop site.

Sources close to Mr Robinson have previously indicated that the couple had hoped to snap up the land known as Larch Hill but have not yet completed any deal to purchase the land.

The land is believed to be owned by a woman who lives near the Gransha road site, and who was passed the land from her late husband’s estate in the late 1970s. It has not changed hands since.

Their plans to move home may be hastened after Mr Robinson’s hints last week that he may give up his Westminster seat at the next election, to concentrate on Stormont politics.

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