Belfast Telegraph

James Nesbitt's plush Portrush pad runs into problems with planners

By Staff Reporter

Television star James Nesbitt has been refused permission to build a plush new pad on Co Antrim's north coast.

The luxury house, being constructed in Portrush, is almost complete.

However, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has decided to refuse permission for the property, it was revealed yesterday.

The council voted to back a recommendation made by its planning committee to decline the application.

The property has been dogged by problems since its submission two years ago.

Plans submitted in October 2016 were initially rejected after neighbours expressed concerns over a bedroom window overlooking their property.

Designs were redrawn to remove the window and the application was re-submitted by London-based property developer Nesbro Ltd in September 2017 before being given the green light.

However earlier this year the firm, which is co-directed by the Ballymena-born Cold Feet star (right), submitted updated plans.

These included a first-floor balcony with the controversial window back in the frame.

Local newspaper the Coleraine Chronicle reported that Nesbitt's agent claimed the property was only redesigned to bypass the council's planning committee.

And it was always intended to reinstate the original plans under "permitted development rights".

The local authority had previously acknowledged in a report that it should have made the window removal a formal condition before granting approval.

"In not doing so, the fall-back position allows the developer to revert to the previous approval and then carry out an alteration post the building being substantially complete to install the window," a council report stated.

The council had also acknowledged concerns over what it describes as the "direct and intrusive" overlooking of a neighbouring house considered to be "unacceptable".

As well as his foray into property development, Mr Nesbitt - who was in Belfast last week to launch an exhibition for victims of the Troubles by Wave, a victim support charity he is patron of - also owns the film and TV services company G&H, based in Co Down.

In October, speaking at an event in Belfast, Mr Nesbitt praised Northern Ireland as one of the best filming locations in the world.

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