Business

Saturday 10 December 2016

Kavanagh plan for docklands site meets roadblock

Complaint to Dublin City Council sees 'Ronaldo' hit with planning enforcement procedure, writes Ronald Quinlan

Published 18/09/2016 | 02:30

The site in question is located between Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Lime Street and Hanover Street East
The site in question is located between Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Lime Street and Hanover Street East

A plan by developer Greg Kavanagh to deliver a commercial and residential development on the so-called Hickey site in Dublin's docklands has hit a roadblock following the initiation of planning enforcement procedures by Dublin City Council.

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The council's move comes in response to a complaint from a third party that Balark Investments has failed to comply with the conditions set down for the development of the site, which is located between Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Lime Street and Hanover Street East.

The Sunday Independent understands Dublin City planners have issued a formal warning letter to Kavanagh's company, which they will be required to respond to within a period of four weeks.

Once that period has elapsed, council officials will undertake an inspection of the site to see that the conditions for its development are being complied with.

Asked for comment on the matter, a spokesman for Kavanagh said: "This is a simple letter from Dublin City Council asking us to respond to claims made by a third party, which we will do. It will have no impact on us and we are not in the slightest bit concerned."

While the self-proclaimed "Ronaldo" of the Irish property industry is unfazed by the complaint, and the resulting intervention of council planners, his efforts to progress work on the site have been dogged by a bitter dispute with developer Johnny Ronan in relation to it.

The row relates to a number of strips at the site, where Kavanagh's company owns the leasehold interests and a Ronan-linked company owns freehold interests.

Kavanagh is seeking to acquire Ronan's freehold interests in the strips via a statutory procedure involving an application to the Dublin County registrar, which will be heard at the end of November. He wants to build a mixed commercial and residential development at the site and acquiring Ronan's interests would enable him to drive the project forward.

Elsewhere, Kavanagh's New Generation Homes recently found itself at loggerheads with Wicklow County Council over its failure to progress with its development plans at the former La Touche Hotel in Greystones.

Having acquired the site in 2014, the developers secured planning permission earlier this year to build 26 houses, five of which would be developed within the shell of the old hotel.

With no sign of any works being commenced, however, local councillors Derek Mitchell and Grainne McLoughlin took New Generation Homes to task, accusing the company of allowing the property and its surrounding site to fall into further decay.

Mitchell and McLoughlin applied successfully to Wicklow County Council to issue a derelict site notice on July 28 last and a warning that a 3pc derelict site tax would be levied in the event that remedial action wasn't taken.

Asked by the Sunday Independent for comment at the time, a spokesman for New Generation Homes said the company was doing preparatory work to make the building safe and would be beginning construction on the site in the "near future".

The pursuit of the issue by councillors Mitchell and McLoughlin appears to have paid off already, with New Generation recently undertaking remedial works at the site.

Sunday Indo Business

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