US property magnate has more work planned for Laois mansion

Golf course and orangery already given the go-ahead for Slieve Bloom house

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

A US property magnate who has made millions of dollars housing American soldiers has submitted more plans for his historic mountain mansion in Laois.

Since buying the house in 2015, Capard House Ltd has successfully applied to build an 'orangery' and golf course at Capard House in Rosenallis. The owners were also granted planning permission for an ornate viewing platform to the front of the property.

The company now wants to widen the entry to the property by dismantling the existing gates to the and surrounding masonry walls. Laois County Council has sought further information from the applicants on the plan which will see the new but wider gateway installed.

The historic 18th-century house is among the vacation properties owned by Rhode Island developer John Picerne. He purchased the estate in 2015 for more than €4 million.

Mr Picerne has accumulated vast wealth through the company Corvias which controls more than 26,000 houses and apartments for the US military.

He has employed British designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, a star of the cable TV show Million Dollar Decorators, to oversee changes to the property in the Slieve Bloom mountains. He says his A-list clientele includes Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Tommy Hilfiger, Cher to name a few. 

John and Heather Picerne registered Capard House Ltd in October 2015 on the same day as the sale of Capard closed.

In 2016 Laois County Council granted the new owners permission to refurbish existing two storey courtyard building to create a two-bedroom farm managers accommodation, farm staff amenities, six stables and stores all ancillary to the main house. 

Also in 2016, an application was granted to build a 'glazed orangery' extension to the back of the property. It included the lowering of two window cills to afford access from the billiards room.

In 2017 the green light was given for the construction of a viewing terrace and steps to the front lawns of the main house. 

Permission for the golf course was granted in September 2018. It only can be used for private use. Mr Picerne bought agricultural land for its development.