Tuesday 20 March 2018

Greg Kavanagh hit with €1m lawsuit over Georgian villa

New Generation Homes founder Greg Kavanagh caught off guard by 'surprise' court move

Developer Greg Kavanagh Photo: Gerry Mooney
Developer Greg Kavanagh Photo: Gerry Mooney
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Property developer Greg Kavanagh is being sued by a former business partner, Mark Murray, who wants High Court declarations that he owns up to €1m worth of Dublin properties.

The case, which is said to have taken the New Generation Homes founder by surprise, is one of a number of High Court proceedings issued against the Arklow-based developer.

Kavanagh (30) took the property world by storm during the crash when New Generation spent more than €300m mopping up development sites in Dublin.

But he has fought a rearguard action in the last year as court summonses - most of which are inactive or discontinued - were issued against Kavanagh and New Generation Homes, which is backed by M&G Investments, an arm of the Prudential insurance group.

The Sunday Independent has learned that Murray, a former business partner of Kavanagh, has initiated legal proceedings in recent weeks. It is understood that Murray is seeking a declaration of interest in a number of properties, including the landmark Neptune House in Blackrock.

A Georgian villa built in 1767, Neptune House was once occupied by British troops in 1916 after they landed in Dun Laoghaire to take on Irish rebels in the Easter Rising.

The house was also previously owned by US philanthropist Chuck Feeney.

Developer Bernard McNamara bought the house in 2000 for €8m, but plans to develop the protected site came undone in 2002 when planning permission was refused for five blocks of apartments.

Last year, Crosswaithe Developments, a subsidiary of New Generation which counts Kavanagh as a director, amended a 2014 planning application as part of an ambitious bid to build a series of luxury homes and apartments on the 2.4-acre site.

The proposed redevelopment included plans for 13 three-storey houses built in the style of the original villa.

In March 2015, Crosswaithe created a charge in favour of Murray in respect of a separate property.

It is understood there was an agreement in place between the parties in the event of any future disposal of Neptune House and other assets said to be the subject of the High Court proceedings.

Murray's legal representatives declined to comment on the litigation. Kavanagh also declined to comment.

Sunday Indo Business

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