Rugby star Robbie Henshaw wins planning row with neighbour over use of garden shed as gym

Robbie Henshaw. Picture: Sportsfile

Seán McCarthaigh

RUGBY star Robbie Henshaw has been allowed to retain a gym in the back garden of his Dublin home following a planning row with a neighbour over its construction.

An Bord Pleanála has granted the Ireland, Lions and Leinster centre retention permission for a garden shed and covered side passage at his two-storey, semi-detached house in Clonskeagh.

The board rejected an appeal by a neighbour of Henshaw who claimed that the use of the garden shed as a gym was an unauthorised development,

It upheld the original decision of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to grant Henshaw, who was selected for the Lions in all three matches during the recent test series against South Africa, permission for the shed retrospectively.

The board also ignored the recommendation of its own planning inspector to impose a time limit of three years on the use of the shed as a gym.

Planning files show that Henshaw (28) sought retention permission for the shed after the council had issued him with enforcement proceedings last December.

In its ruling, the board said the development of the gym in a house at an end of a cul-de-sac would not seriously injure the residential amenities of adjoining property subject to a number of conditions.

A spokesman for Henshaw said the shed had been built for use as a gym to enable him to “carry on training” during various lockdowns as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic when there were restrictions on group training among players.

Henshaw’s neighbour, who also objected to a recent successful planning application by the rugby player for an attic conversion, claimed the development of a shed in the back garden together with the covered side passage represented overdevelopment of the site.

She claimed use of the shed as a gym, workshop or office negatively impacted on her property through noise and being “visually obtrusive” and called for its use to be limited to storage.

The neighbour also called for noise limits to be imposed as a condition of the grant of any planning permission for the garden shed.

A planning inspector with An Bord Pleanála observed that the shed was “relatively unsightly” but not within public view.

The inspector noted it had also been screened from the neighbour’s property by a two-metre high wall.

The inspector agreed with the neighbour that the use of the garden shed for anything other than storage was likely to result in serious injury to her property, particularly if it involved an activity “at an excessive intensity”.

However, the board did not impose a recommended condition by the inspector that the operation of any machinery in the shed that was audible outside Henshaw’s property be prohibited.

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