Sean Dunne, an Irish property developer, paid a record €367m for a Dublin hotel in 2005 to build of a 37-floor apartment block in leafy Victorian Dublin.

With the planning hearing in its third week, there is a feeling that even if Dunne gets approval, the project will struggle to make money given the collapse in housing demand and the fall in the value of the underlying property.

Dunne and a number of other Irish developers are said to be facing financial difficulties in the current property slump. House prices have fallen 9.4% in the 12 months to July, according to the monthly survey by Permanent TSB.

Financial Times