Saturday 25 November 2017

RTE to challenge council on new zoning regulations

Allison Bray and Tim Healy

RTE is to challenge a recent zoning decision by Dublin City Council which, it claims, could jeopardise major redevelopment plans for its Montrose headquarters.

A High Court judge yesterday granted leave for RTE to launch the legal action over what it claims are restrictive conditions contained in new zoning regulations.

The broadcaster claims that the new City Development Plan 2011-2017 contains changes that could have a serious impact on the value of land at the Donnybrook campus.

The court yesterday heard that the new "Z15" designation includes tougher conditions than the previous plan and could impact on the paper or collateral value of RTE land.

RTE argues that the value of the land is crucial as it re-develops the Montrose site as a purpose-built complex for the digital age under its Project 2025.

"The value of that part of the Donnybrook site not required by Project 2025 itself is directly crucial to the delivery of Project 2025," it said in a statement last night.

Funding

"It forms an essential part of the security which RTÉ requires to enable it to begin to seek to raise the large amount of external funding required to allow Project 2025 to proceed. RTÉ is of the view that restrictions associated with the Amended "Z15" zoning significantly reduce the value of the site as collateral for security purposes."

RTE counsel Nuala Butler, argued that the new zoning designation wouldn't even allow RTE to use the land for media-related purposes.

She said RTE had succeeded in getting a less restrictive "Z12" designation in the amended draft plan. But councillors voted to revert to the original zoning on November 23 last.

Meanwhile, the Sisters of Charity are to challenge zoning restrictions.

The religious order claims the new designation would compromise the value of 18 parcels of land it owns around Dublin, totalling 108 acres.

It claims the plan applies restrictive zoning to an arbitrary selection of its lands, including St Vincent's Private Hospital in Donnybrook, The Hospice in Harold's Cross as well as several school sites.

Brian Murray, counsel for the Sisters, argued that no reason was given to them for the council decision.

Mr Justice Michael Peart gave leave for RTE and the Sisters Of Charity to bring judicial review proceedings against the council over the city plan.

Irish Independent

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