Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby hutton » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:48 pm

I see the Department of Justice would appear to be breaking the law at Wolfe Tone Street - building a 15,000 sq ft probation centre in an apartment complex ground floor, despite receiving a letter from DCC Planning Enforcement last month.

According to the Justice Department, the unit is to be for "persistent offenders" from the "greater Dublin area". They say the 15,000 sq ft scheme is only going to deal with 12 people - why do I not believe them?

At the same time, nearby Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station is being closed with no schedule as to when it is to reopen.

So at a time of rising crime, the state takes away the apparatus providing law and order - while placing a massive new security load on a less well healed area. Talk about ghettoisation :mad:

Fair dues to the local residents and businesses. How rotten are things getting in this country when the supposed Dept of Justice is now involved with breaking the law?

Families in protest over prison centre

By Geraldine Gittens
Wednesday April 07 2010
ANGRY residents fighting to stop a new ex-prisoners' centre being built in Dublin's north inner city staged a sit-in protest in the building.

A group of seven worried local women are demanding the immediate cessation of construction on the Bridge Project, a rehabilitation centre for ex-prisoners on Wolfe Tone Street, Dublin 1.

They are accusing the Department of Justice of breaking the law, since it did not obtain planning permission for the project -- and they are liable for prosecution by staging the protest.

But the women told the Herald yesterday that an overnight sit-in is their only hope to stall works on the Bridge Project, since the Department of Justice or the Bridge Project have not attended their public meetings.

Catherine Winston, one of the protesters and residents, said: "We're inside, the seven of us, and the superintendent said we have to leave but we're not leaving."

"They haven't stopped working and we're going to inform the superintendent that we want to stay. We're prepared to stay here."

The group is horrified that work is still ongoing on the Bridge Project despite the fact that the Department of Justice is now seeking legal advice on the planning status of the project.

"People are livid and we're hoping to get a crowd tomorrow for a protest. The whole of Dublin will be hanging around, because the centre is going to be for the greater Dublin area."

"They'll come from everywhere, but why is the centre being dumped here? We're very concerned," she added.

A spokesperson from Dublin City Council explained that a planning application for the building has not been registered with the council.

He added: "Dublin City Council's Planning Enforcement Section has received a number of complaints in relation to unauthorised change of use at this location. These are currently being investigated and a decision on this will be taken in due course."

The Department of Justice would not comment on whether it is going to cease works on the building.

hnews@herald.ie

- Geraldine Gittens
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby hutton » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:53 pm

Another article on the same...


Don't let serial killer suspect live near us, plead Dublin families

By Geraldine Gittens
Friday March 26 2010
FAMILIES in Dublin's north inner city are fighting to stop a new ex-prisoners' centre being built -- because they fear sex offenders and drug dealers will be using it.

A centre for the probation of ex-prisoners is currently being built in the old Roches Stores warehouse on Wolfe Tone Street -- and residents are furious because they say they were not informed about the project.

They fear drug dealers and sex offenders who have been released from prison will be rehabilitated close to their homes and will pose a threat to their families. And locals are terrified that notorious rapists Larry Murphy and Michael Murray will be among the first catered for there.

Murphy is due for release during the summer while Murray has been back on our streets since last year.

Locals have been holding a number of protests, including a large gathering last night.

Catherine Wilson said: "They're building the facility across the road from us on Wolfe Tone Street and it's going to be a rehabilitation centre for ex-prisoners.

"We are afraid it will be used for sex offenders and it will be a methadone clinic as well. We're very scared."

Works began on the centre in January and it is expected to be completed in May.

"They're telling us that there's not going to be drugs or sex-offenders, but we believe there will be. We're trying to stop it altogether."

The project, which is funded by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, will aim to help prisoners break the cycle of reoffending and to reintegrate into the wider community through education and life skills development.

Elderly residents are also fearful about the new centre. Frank Lynan (73) said: "I'm annoyed that they even consider opening a centre like that in the area."

The Bridge Project, currently in Parnell Street, has been operating in Dublin for the past 15 years and residents insist it should stay in its current location. A Department of Justice spokesman refused to confirm or deny if the project would cater for sex offenders who have been released from prison.

Meanwhile, enforcement officers from Dublin City Council have inspected the building on Wolfe Tone Street but are powerless to intervene, the Herald has learned.

A Herald investigation has discovered that the current planning permission for the premises stipulates that it can be used for storage only.

And Dublin City Council has confirmed it has not received an application for a change of use that would allow a rehabilitation centre to be set up.

hnews@herald.ie

- Geraldine Gittens
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby markpb » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:36 pm

hutton wrote:Meanwhile, enforcement officers from Dublin City Council have inspected the building on Wolfe Tone Street but are powerless to intervene, the Herald has learned. [...] And Dublin City Council has confirmed it has not received an application for a change of use that would allow a rehabilitation centre to be set up.


How on earth could that happen? Surely someone in the DoJ made a decision to break the law and can be sanctioned like anyone else who failed to apply for planning permission?
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby tommyt » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:48 am

Where on Wolfe Tone St.? is the address correct?. Do they mean the Penneys/Primark office building with no street frontage?
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby hutton » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:36 am

tommyt wrote:Where on Wolfe Tone St.? is the address correct?. Do they mean the Penneys/Primark office building with no street frontage?


The Penny's building afaik is on Jervis Street north; this is on the street parallel to the west, opposite Wolfe Tone Close, basically stretching from the junction where AXA have their HQ to Parnell Street, on the western side of the street. It is the entire ground floor of that block on the western side of the northern end of WT St, except for the Spar shop on the corner. Formerly it had no street frontage - yet courtesy of the unauthorised works, it now does.

Separately, another dirty bit of ghettoisation in the north city centre is this bit of news - now the state is also set to close the nearby swimming pool, having already scheduled the Garda Station for closure. Talk about social apartheid in action :mad:

The Irish Times - Saturday, April 10, 2010

City residents to protest swimming pool closure

STEVEN CARROLL

RESIDENTS OF Dublin’s north inner city are to hold a protest outside City Hall on Monday evening over the proposed closure of a public swimming pool on Seán MacDermott Street.

The pool, which is run by Dublin City Council, is one of three community swimming pools that are scheduled to close at the end of August, along with those in Coolock and Crumlin, because the council can no longer afford to fund them.

A spokeswoman for the council said the deadline for closure had been extended from June to the end of August, and that unless an alternative means of funding the pools was found they would have to be closed.

The matter will be up for discussion at the city council meeting on Monday evening, which is when the protest is scheduled to take place.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Emer Costello (Labour) said councillors were still seeking a long-term solution to keep the facilities open, but that she was pleased they would stay open for the summer months.

Former Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald, who is participating in the protest, said the Seán MacDermott Street pool was one of very few sports facilities available for families and young people in the north inner city.

“The city management and those councillors who support this cut to the council budget are letting the community down,” she said.
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby hutton » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:47 am

And where is the local TD, Bertie Ahern?

According to Fintan O'Toole, from this article Aug 11, 2009:

In May, the Irish Independent reported that he had attended just 28 of 127 Dáil votes in the year since he resigned as taoiseach.

Since then, so far as I can see, his record of turning up for work has actually become worse. The Dáil sat for 18 days during June and July.
I can find only two of those days – June 10th and July 10th – when Ahern was present and voting. The first of those occasions was the Fine Gael vote of no confidence in the Government, when every deputy was obliged by the whips to attend. Ahern was in New York and was reportedly disgusted that he had to fly home at his own expense to do his day job. The second occasion, July 10th, was the last day of term. Ahern, having missed so many important votes, managed to be present for one on the crucial motion: “That the Dáil . . . shall adjourn until 2.30pm on Wednesday, 16 September, 2009.”


http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0811/1224252361043.html?via=mr

So Bertie Ahern can find time to

A) Organise an "autobiography" / work of fiction, ghost written by Richard Aldois of UCD, which Ahern then gets declared exempt from tax

B) Write a sports column in the english tabloid, News of the World

C) Give lectures at €29,000 a throw, around the world (not bad for a man who is supposed to be not driven by money)

D) Worst of all in my opinion, Bertie Ahern is on the board of Parker Green, the company that owns the Quays Shopping Centre in Newry, and as such he has a vested interest in the capital flight from the southern Irish state.


Yet Ahern can't find time to attend public meetings or represent his constituents at a time when he is most needed?

What a Bastard :mad:
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby tommyt » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:38 pm

hutton wrote:The Penny's building afaik is on Jervis Street north; this is on the street parallel to the west, opposite Wolfe Tone Close, basically stretching from the junction where AXA have their HQ to Parnell Street, on the western side of the street. It is the entire ground floor of that block on the western side of the northern end of WT St, except for the Spar shop on the corner. Formerly it had no street frontage - yet courtesy of the unauthorised works, it now does.

.


Thanks Hutton- that's pretty shocking it's that building. Will take a spin by tmrrw for a gawk.
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby onq » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:20 am

If the works constitute a breach of planning law, the first step is to get the local authority to inspect and open a planning enforcement file, confirming that such is the case.

As soon as they have done this [which gives a bit of comfort in the event of a later dispute] I understand that anyone can take a Section 160 action to stop an unauthorised development proceeding.

Small comfort for people with no legal connections you might feel, but I'm sure there are plenty of solicitors out there who might be willing to take on some community pro-bono work to make a name for themselves.

There are two separate issues the people involved may not be aware of; -

a) The possible need for a Fire Safety Certificate

This may be a requirement where a material change of use takes place with restrictions on internal circulation and a possible increase in population/ segregation of the buildings population within zones.

b) The possilble need for a Disability Access Certificate.

This may be a requirement even for an existing building because of considerations similar to the ones mentioned above.

FWIW

ONQ.
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby hutton » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:35 pm

onq wrote:If the works constitute a breach of planning law, the first step is to get the local authority to inspect and open a planning enforcement file, confirming that such is the case.

As soon as they have done this [which gives a bit of comfort in the event of a later dispute] I understand that anyone can take a Section 160 action to stop an unauthorised development proceeding.

Small comfort for people with no legal connections you might feel, but I'm sure there are plenty of solicitors out there who might be willing to take on some community pro-bono work to make a name for themselves.

There are two separate issues the people involved may not be aware of; -

a) The possible need for a Fire Safety Certificate

This may be a requirement where a material change of use takes place with restrictions on internal circulation and a possible increase in population/ segregation of the buildings population within zones.

b) The possilble need for a Disability Access Certificate.

This may be a requirement even for an existing building because of considerations similar to the ones mentioned above.

FWIW

ONQ.


A lot of good thoughts there ONQ, and hopefully also of help to others who may in the future look up this site so as to know how to deal with illegal developments. Keep it up :)
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby saintleger » Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:27 pm

I think that's sloppy reporting and hyperbole by the Herald, on several counts, but firstly when they say "the Council are powerless to intervene". If the council haven't shut down the site, it's not because they can't. According to the Irish Times, the council served a warning letter on the Department, informing it that the zoning does not permit the use. The Department are now considering their position.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0401/1224267475695.html
Planning enforcement officers from Dublin City Council have issued a warning letter to the Department of Justice to notify it that Wolfe Tone Street is not zoned for such a facility.
Richard Guiney, of the Dublin City Business Improvement District, told the meeting that the rehabilitation centre would go against the zoning set out in the Dublin City Development Plan.
The Department of Justice said it was aware of queries around the status of the planning permission and that the matter was being examined by its legal advisers.


Those Herald articles are a joke - that headline, Don't let serial killer suspect live near us, plead Dublin families - this isn't a residential complex, it's a training scheme. It's been run for 15 years a couple of hundred yards up the road, on the corner of Gardiner Street and Parnell Street, which they fail to mention in the first article.

From the little I know of the Bridge Project, they do a kind of a FAS training scheme with group therapy and on-site social workers, they do only have about a dozen 'clients' or whatever you want to call them, as they have a very specific target audience, young people under 25 who are convicted of crimes but who they (the probation service) feel would benefit from the course more than from a jail term, and they have a lot of staff relative to the service users.

Am I the only one who thinks this is NIMBYism? Just because it's Wolfe Tone Street and not Shrewsbury Road, does that make the reaction different?

And yes, of course the department of justice should have applied for planning permission. I can't believe they didn't do their research, pure sloppiness. I also can't believe they're so clueless when it comes to community relations (and public relations) that they've taken a vow of silence and aren't trying to engage with the local community, or the Herald.
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby hutton » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:01 am

saintleger wrote:Those Herald articles are a joke - that headline, Don't let serial killer suspect live near us, plead Dublin families - this isn't a residential complex, it's a training scheme.


A) The scheme is to be located in the ground floor of an 4 floor apartment complex

B) Apparently it is mandatory that some of the individuals on probation must live within a certain radius of the centre, or so I have heard.

saintleger wrote:]From the little I know of the Bridge Project, they do a kind of a FAS training scheme with group therapy and on-site social workers, they do only have about a dozen 'clients'


15,000 square feet for only a dozen offenders? I don't think so.

saintleger wrote:Am I the only one who thinks this is NIMBYism? Just because it's Wolfe Tone Street and not Shrewsbury Road, does that make the reaction different?


Certainly would appear to make the approach of the state completely different - the state would never put such a scheme at any well-heeled location such as Shrewsbury or Ailsbury Roads

saintleger wrote: And yes, of course the department of justice should have applied for planning permission. I can't believe they didn't do their research, pure sloppiness. I also can't believe they're so clueless when it comes to community relations (and public relations) that they've taken a vow of silence and aren't trying to engage with the local community, or the Herald.


On the last paragraph we do agree. It is simply outrageous that the Department of Justice would appear to be responsible for developing an illegal scheme. However I do believe they did research - and figured they could get away with dumping it on a lower income area. Their arrogance and contempt for civic society by way of not engaging with the community speaks volumes. Department of Injustice would be a much more apt title.
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Re: Department of Justice's illegal development off Mary Street

Postby tommyt » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:52 pm

Wolfe Tone st, particularly Wolfe Tone Close is an exemplar of inner city residential development. .
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