Business Irish

Saturday 20 July 2019

Developer Greg Kavanagh hit with derelict site notice in Greystones

Developer Greg Kavanagh. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Developer Greg Kavanagh. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Developer Greg Kavanagh's company, New Generation Homes, has been hit with a derelict site notice by Wicklow County Council over its failure to progress plans for the redevelopment of the landmark La Touche Hotel in Greystones, Co Wicklow.

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.

Should New Generation Homes fail to address matters, it could find itself being levied with a fine amounting to 3pc of the site's overall value.

Asked by the Sunday Independent for comment, a spokesman for New Generation Homes said: "The building is in poor repair, we are trying to ensure that it is made safe and we are doing preparatory work for that. We are engaging with the council and local representatives on this. We expect to commence construction on the site in the very near future."

While the company insists it will do its best to rectify the situation, councillor Mitchell is doubtful, judging by the message he posted to Greystones constituents through his website.

Referring to a recent meeting he and councillor McLoughlin had with New Generation Homes and its structural engineers, he said he was "sceptical" in relation to their contention that it was not feasible to reinstate the La Touche Hotel, and that it needed to be reconstructed instead. Mitchell said however that he would not be opposed to a "good reconstruction".

A native of county Wicklow, Kavanagh first came to prominence during the crash on foot of New Generation Homes' assembly of a massive land bank in Dublin and its surrounding commuter counties. Earlier this year, the company sought to offload much of that property with the launch of Project Firefly.

The proposed sale has proved to be unsuccessful so far, with a number of potential buyers including Lone Star, developer Michael O'Flynn, Cairn Homes, and former Treasury Holdings chief Richard Barrett's Bartra Capital all signalling their interest before pulling out again.

Bartra is understood to have bid €225m before withdrawing its offer for the sites for which New Generation had been seeking up to €350m.

Sunday Indo Business

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