Tuesday 24 October 2017

Dispute over land title may halt sale of hotel

Brian McDonagh
Brian McDonagh

THE sale of the Portmarnock Hotel and Golf links by the NAMA appointed receiver could be threatened by a dispute of the title to a portion of the land, according to a Labour local election candidate.

Brian McDonagh, a Labour candidate for the Howth/Malahide Ward, said: 'It was a great surprise to locals that the recent advertisement for the sale of Portmarnock Golf Links and Hotel that a large parcel of what the community had assumed was public land was included by the receiver in the sale.

'The land in question is a public road and a green space that has been open to the public as long as I can remember.'

Mr. McDonagh added: 'The 1994 planning application for the Golf Links (retention) went to An Bord Pleanála and granted in 1995.

'One of the leading conditions by ABP states: "Arrangements for the dedication of the lands to the west of Golf Links Road (offered by the applicant to the planning authority in the application) for public open space and recreational purposes shall be completed prior to the commencement of development.'''

According to Mr. McDonagh, in January of 2000, in response to a motion from the council it was noted at the meeting that 'both a transfer of land with I.M.G., Ltd., and acquisition by way of Deed of Dedication from the same company are at an advanced stage, but no title transfer to the council has yet taken place'.

Mr. McDonagh said: 'Having contacted the estate agent for the receiver and looking at records the title doesn't seem to have changed hands.

'I would like to ask why this dedication of the lands does not appear to have been legally completed after 20 years? The lands have been fully maintained by Fingal County Council over all of this period.

'From the proposed current sale of the Portmarnock Golf Links, it appears that the receiver is laying claim to this protected area adjacent to Baldoyle Estuary.'

He added: 'Naturally enough the receiver is looking to maximise full value for the tax payer by including this stretch.

'I would however, call on the receiver and NAMA to postpone the sale pending transfer, the last thing we need is for a purchase to go ahead and then for the State, through the receiver and NAMA, to be involved in a protracted legal dispute over title due to historic failures of the council and previous owners.'

The Labour candidate concluded: 'In reality, the land in question is of no use to anyone but the public other than as a bargaining chip for further concessions from planners.

'So let's hope the receiver and NAMA do the right thing, that they recognise and correct the problem and complete the transfer as per previous planning decisions.'

Fingal Independent