Friday 15 December 2017

Man loses bid to stop hostel for homeless

Mr Byrnes took proceedings in April 2015 against the council aimed at quashing its approval (Stock picture)
Mr Byrnes took proceedings in April 2015 against the council aimed at quashing its approval (Stock picture)

Tim Healy

A man living in a Georgian house on Dublin's Upper Fitzwilliam Street has lost his High Court challenge to a planned emergency homeless hostel on the street.

Dublin City Council's approval of the proposed Dublin Simon hostel at Longfield House at 9-10 Upper Fitzwilliam Street did not breach planning law or materially contravene the Dublin city development plan as alleged by Kenny Byrnes, Ms Justice Marie Baker ruled.

Nothing in the plan required homeless accommodation be confined to certain parts of the city, or not be put in certain identified residential areas, she said.

There was no evidence the proposed hostel works would have a material effect on protected structures or the character of the area.

The council owns Longfield House, formerly used as a boutique hotel. In February 2015, it approved works for use of the premises as a 30-bed emergency hostel.

Mr Byrnes took proceedings in April 2015 against the council aimed at quashing its approval.

The case has delayed Dublin Simon's plan to move its emergency facility at Harcourt Street to Longfield House. There were also a large number of local objectors to the hostel, including several lawyers, the court heard.

Claims by Mr Byrnes the hostel would be a needle exchange facility, drop-in centre and methadone treatment centre were denied by the council.

She dismissed claims that the hostel was not a local authority development, but rather one by Dublin Simon, and therefore the procedure Act was incorrect and permission must fall.

Ms Justice Baker also rejected claims public notices posted by the council concerning the planned hostel were inadequate.

Irish Independent

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