Were You a victim of Grant?

Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby PVC King » Fri Mar 25, 2005 12:43 am

Tonights Primetime was very illuminary about one Mr Grant, does anyone have any stories they would like to share with us?
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby PVC King » Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:21 am

For those of you who missed it there is a link to the full programme on this page

http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0324/primetime.html
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:00 am

Thankfully no :).
Sorry, meant to post about this being on earlier in the week but I forgot.
It got decidedly more interesting once a handful of Georgian's came into it :), which spookily I passed only the other day and noted how appalling they looked...
As for the placing of 60 beds in the basements!!??

Yes clearly Grant's a nasty piece of work, and it is extraordinary how after years of the biggest construction boom this country has ever seen, there is still no regulation in the practice of architecture here.
I wonder if this will get the wheels in motion.
A good piece of journalisim, although I found the linking of the Stardust disaster in such an indirect fashion to Mr Grant a tad sensationalist.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby PVC King » Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:09 am

Graham Hickey wrote:Thankfully no :).
Sorry, meant to post about this being on earlier in the week but I forgot.
It got decidedly more interesting once a handful of Georgian's came into it :), which spookily I passed only the other day and noted how appalling they looked...

Yes clearly Grant's a nasty piece of work, and it is extraordinary how after years of the biggest construction boom this country has ever seen, there is still no regulation in the practice of architecture here.
I wonder if this will get the wheels in motion.
A good piece of journalisim, although I found the linking of the Stardust disaster in such an indirect fashion to Mr Grant a tad sensationalist.


I couldn't agree more on the lack of regulation regarding professional input, I'm not saying that everything requiring planning permission should require an architect to sign off on the plans but certainly any project that involves heritage property or an independent structure or in the case of an extension over say 60 sq m.

I doubt this is what Tony Reddy was referring to when he spoke about 85% of the complaints received being outside their remit as the works were designed by non-architects.

Regarding comparison with the Stardust, that probably should have been left out, it is a little close to home for some people; although his sort probably wouldn't care less if they were cutting corners and something hypothetically were to happen.

All in all primetime at their patient best :p
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:29 am

The living conditions of that premises on Gardiner St seemed appalling - it really highlights an underworld that most people know nothing about. One dreads to think of the horrendous conditions people, esp immigrants are forced to live in right around the country, let alone the undoubted hundreds of properties similar to those featured in the centre of Dublin alone.

You do get glimpses of such places if you walk around the north inner-city a lot - places that you'd wonder about the structural soundness, fire regs and sound insulation etc.
Personally I find nothing worse than breaches of fire safety - it is the lowest of the low that deliberately ignore such regulations.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby PVC King » Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:37 am

I totally agree, I feel that the lack of resources in planning enforcement allows guys like this a free reign, and before anyone thinks that I am having a go at DCC I am not, they do their best in the face severe funding constraints. It is a fact that a planning enforcement case can only brought on foot of a complaint, when enforcement proceedings are commenced the transgressor will often submit an aplication for planning permission, the complainent then has to pay to object and in many cases planners will grant permission just to get the file off the desk.

As you say Graham the North Inner City is full of places like this and it is probably time for Dublin to have drive by surveys done to identify buildings that may deserve a fire inspection.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby JPD » Sat Mar 26, 2005 11:12 pm

A freind of mine recently lodged a planning application for an extension and as yet no decision has been made by the planners, he paid five grand to have this done by Mr Grant, could someone very kindly tell me is my freind in a position where he will need to have new plans made from scratch or can he get permission as is?

Thanks

John
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby sw101 » Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:46 am

JPD wrote:A freind of mine recently lodged a planning application for an extension and as yet no decision has been made by the planners, he paid five grand to have this done by Mr Grant, could someone very kindly tell me is my freind in a position where he will need to have new plans made from scratch or can he get permission as is?

Thanks

John



his name on the application will make no difference. it's still valid. just be wary of his 76% refusal rate in some parts of dublin. 5 grand? ouch
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby JPD » Sun Mar 27, 2005 1:45 am

Thanks sw101, I'm sure my freind will be relieved to hear that.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby sw101 » Sun Mar 27, 2005 3:22 pm

maybe the program cast doubt on the legality of the planning applications he made. as it stands, a registered architect is not required to be involved in an application, and many small extensions or even dwellings woud not involve a member of the RIAI or RIBA. the issues highlighted by the program were his over-charging for poor work with unrealistic guarantees for successful applications, as well as immoral (and in some cases illegal) occasions when he presented himself as a qualified architect or as a member of a certified institute.

your friend's application will be judged on it's merits, which may or may not be of a high standard or even a standard that might satisfy the planners. the "architect" involved would not be an issue, or at least it shouldn't be.

one thing that appalls me from that show is his zero percent pre-planning discussion record. he just fires them in without consultation, and with fees ranging from 3 grand upwards, the least you'd expect is a bit of effort on the part of your designer to placate planners and take into account any concrens they might have regards your design.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby Frank Taylor » Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:22 pm

I though the worst conclusion of the programme was that a person with a history of fires in previous premises could break fire regulations with impunity, endangering the lives of hundreds of people.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby sw101 » Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:14 pm

it was funny (kinda) seeing people get ripped off for obviously flawed schemes in the first place. when it bacame a matter of safety with a real possibility of people dying it became less funny, and when it became apparent he wasn't above dolling out death threats to people that crossed him, it wasn't funny at all.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby JPD » Sun Apr 03, 2005 11:24 pm

SW101 Thanks for clearing everything up: my freind went to the Civic Offices last week and had a chat with a planner who told him that once they were satisfied that the job would be professionally supervised they didn't see it as a reason to refuse planning permission. You are so right that it was his attitude to fire laws and threatening behaviour that was worse than anything else.

PS My freind says thanks
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Apr 04, 2005 4:55 am

RTE probe man gets building go-ahead
Sunday Business Post
03 April 2005 By Liz Walsh
Dublin City Council has granted permission for a major apartment block at the rear of an illegal hostel that it considers a potential firetrap.

Controversial architect David Grant owns the Celtic Inn at 7-10 Upper Gardiner Street in Dublin. He runs the building as a hostel without permission and without a fire safety certificate.




On March 21, the same day the city council began fire safety proceedings against Grant, it gave him the go ahead for a multi-million euro development at the rear of the building.

Simultaneously, the council is attempting to have Grant jailed for contempt of a High Court order over his illegal gutting of the buildings, which are protected Georgian structures.

The Scotsman was the subject of a recent Prime Time investigation into the architectural services that he offers to the public, mainly through newspaper adverts.

Last Friday, the Irish Independent confirmed that it had “pulled'‘ his ads in all of its publications. A spokesman said: “The group will no longer accept any ads from Grant or any of his companies.”

Sources in the council have described the decision to grant permission for the four and five-storey block of 20 apartments with balconies and 15 car spaces as “unbelievable'‘, given Grant's “appalling track record'‘ in general building control, planning and fire safety.

Last August, another of Grant's hostels, on Adelaide Road, went on fire and occupants had to jump from the second floor windows. He had no permission to run the hostel and no fire safety certificate.

The council threatened legal proceedings before the fire but did not follow through after Grant promised, in March of last year, to cease using it as a hostel.

There appears to be strong evidence, however, that the building was being used as a hostel when the fire broke out.

The council has also confirmed it is bringing proceedings against Grant for carrying on a business at his Haddington Road address and is seeking the removal of an “unauthorised two-storey extension'‘ at the rear.

Secret filming during the Prime Time investigation showed the extent of the gutting and fire hazards, including exposed electrical wires hanging from ceilings.

The fire safety notice, issued the day before the programme was broadcast, listed 28 points of concern, including inadequate escape stairways and too many bed spaces.

It also specified that the electrical services within the building must conform to ESB standards. Furthermore, the notice warned Grant not to use the premises as a hotel or guesthouse. The Gardiner Street hostel houses about 300,mostly long-stay residents from eastern Europe.

The city council can apply to court for an order to shut the building down and evacuate the occupants, or if it considers it an immediate danger, it can do so on foot of an inspector's report.

It was open to the council to refuse permission for the new apartments until Grant restored the buildings as ordered by the High Court on January 24 last. Instead, the council merely stipulated that the proposed apartments should not be “occupied'‘, allowing Grant to build the apartments and sell the entire property on.

The council said it would not comment on individual applications. Grant's application was registered on February 25 and passed just 24 days later.

Grant has been sued successfully on a number of occasions in relation to his architectural services and more cases are being prepared. The courts have found that he drew up plans in contravention of the Dublin Development Plan and in some cases, actually misrepresented sites, most of which were in side and back gardens.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby sw101 » Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:43 am

there's a conniption in the air, i think i'll have it. jesus, how unco-ordinated and disjointed are the bodies in question, fire, legal, planning. ridiculous decision.

JPD, you're welcome. the less people that get shafted by the man the better.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby phil » Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:00 pm

You are right SW101. The quote below is simply mind boggling. I dont think it is now unfair to ask if they simply rubber stamp things without really knowing what sort of standard the development is going to be.

"Sources in the council have described the decision to grant permission for the four and five-storey block of 20 apartments with balconies and 15 car spaces as “unbelievable'‘, given Grant's “appalling track record'‘ in general building control, planning and fire safety."
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:19 pm

:rolleyes:

What an embarrassing state of affairs.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby Frank Taylor » Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:25 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:A good piece of journalisim, although I found the linking of the Stardust disaster in such an indirect fashion to Mr Grant a tad sensationalist.
300 people are going to sleep in a fire hazard hostel on Gardiner street tonight despite the fact that everyone is aware of its non-compliance with fire regulations. The link looks pretty clear to me.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby sw101 » Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:35 pm

Frank Taylor wrote:300 people are going to sleep in a fire hazard hostel on Gardiner street tonight despite the fact that everyone is aware of its non-compliance with fire regulations. The link looks pretty clear to me.

it's pretty alarming alright. why can't the filth just go over there right now, shut the place down and arrest whoever is in charge?
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:17 pm

Frank Taylor wrote:300 people are going to sleep in a fire hazard hostel on Gardiner street tonight despite the fact that everyone is aware of its non-compliance with fire regulations. The link looks pretty clear to me.


When you put it like that, it certainly puts the situation into stark relief - and goodness only knows how many other similar cases there are out there - that's the real concern.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby PVC King » Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:00 pm

sw101 wrote:it's pretty alarming alright. why can't the filth just go over there right now, shut the place down and arrest whoever is in charge?


That is a good point, does the fire safety officer not have the right to close any commercial premises in breach of the fire regulations? I have heard of pre-63 properties being closed by the fire officer on many occaisions.

I also wish it were those with the power to lock him up who were going to act next. :mad:
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby JPD » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:07 am

Frank Taylor wrote:300 people are going to sleep in a fire hazard hostel on Gardiner street tonight despite the fact that everyone is aware of its non-compliance with fire regulations. The link looks pretty clear to me.


That is seriously taking the piss
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby PVC King » Sun Apr 10, 2005 1:21 pm

Paul Clerkin wrote:RTE probe man gets building go-ahead
Sunday Business Post
03 April 2005 By Liz Walsh


Last August, another of Grant's hostels, on Adelaide Road, went on fire and occupants had to jump from the second floor windows. He had no permission to run the hostel and no fire safety certificate.

The council threatened legal proceedings before the fire but did not follow through after Grant promised, in March of last year, to cease using it as a hostel.

There appears to be strong evidence, however, that the building was being used as a hostel when the fire broke out.


Does anyone know the status of this building at present?

I passed here yesterday and noticed that the front door and windows are still covered off by corragated iron sheeting, there appears to be no plan by grant to restore this building given that he is advertising 'Car-Spaces To- Let' which to my mind is not something you would do if a major building renovation were planned in the short term. Which to my mind is the only acceptable period, if Grant is unwilling or unable to return this property to a condition in accordance with the building regulations then action should be taken to ensure it reaches the marketplace via CPO where there are dozens of investors who would.
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby PVC King » Thu May 19, 2005 12:22 am

RTE INTERACTIVE wrote:
Planning refusal for controversial agent

18 May 2005 16:50
An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission to another project submitted by the controversial planning agent David Grant, who claims to be a qualified architect and is based at Ballsbridge in south Dublin.

Mr Grant was the subject of a recent RTÉ Prime Time programme which found that his refusal rate in Fingal Council was 67% of all applications submitted.

In Dublin City Council, he had a three times higher rate of refusal than any other architect. His rate of refusal at An Bord Pleanála was also described as abysmal.


In this latest decision, the board refused to overturn a decision by Dublin City Council to refuse permission for a series of works on Georgian buildings on Upper Gardiner Street, which were protected structures.

The board described the alterations proposed as inappropriate, and considered the cumulative effect of the works would have an adverse impact on the integrity, character and setting of the protected structures.

It also found there was a lack of precise information submitted in connection with the planning application which were required under the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001.

The buildings were subject of a High Court order relating to Mr Grant's unlawful gutting of four Georgian protected structures.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0518/grantd.html


Hardly to be welcomed but ABP doing its job effeciently and correctly as per normal.

Does anyone know the status of his hostal in Adelaide Road?
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Re: Were You a victim of Grant?

Postby JPD » Thu May 19, 2005 12:46 am

looks like my freind had a lucky escape by getting permission for his extension.
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