Leitrim native wants to knock down 100 year old mansion

Construction boss of Olympic Park in London, Ray O’Rourke, a native of Coraleehan wants to tear down a £7m mansion, that is 100 years old in Essex and build a new home. Ray O’Rourke is the boss of Laing O’ Rourke, Europe’s biggest privately owned construction company which is spearheading the creation of Olympic Park in London ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Construction boss of Olympic Park in London, Ray O’Rourke, a native of Coraleehan wants to tear down a £7m mansion, that is 100 years old in Essex and build a new home.

Ray O’Rourke is the boss of Laing O’ Rourke, Europe’s biggest privately owned construction company which is spearheading the creation of Olympic Park in London ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

According to English newspapers the Leitrim native wants to swap his impressive 100 year old Fairwinds mansion with an almost iddentical new building.

The local council has turned down the plan on the grounds that the house is of “considerable architectural merit and makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area” in the village of Fryerning, near Brentwood.

Mr O’Rourke has responded by bringing an appeal that is backed by a planning architect, a design expert and an architecture historian from Cambridge University. Last week his team informed a planning inspector that a rebuild would allow a “higher level of design quality” and would be of “material benefit” to the area. Ray O’Rourke had previously been granted planning permission for an extension to the house.

The proposed new house is understood to feature a six-seat cinema, games room, gym, wine store, and a large conservatory. The local council inspector’s decision is due next month.

Ray O’Rourke is founder and chief executive of Laing O’Rourke, the company has operations in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Middle East. Its projects span a range of sectors, including healthcare, defence, residential, retail and commercial, power generation, water treatment, mining materials handling and oil and gas.