Dublin City Council opposes park development
26 July 2006 16:32
An Bord Pleanála has begun hearing an appeal against a compulsory purchase order of a two-acre square in Ranelagh in Dublin.
The square was bought by businessman, Noel O'Gara, last December.
In January, Mr O'Gara locked access to the square that had previously been used by the public. He is now seeking to develop an underground car park, a creche and gym on the site.
Dublin City Council is in turn trying to compulsorily purchase the land from Mr O'Gara.
Giving evidence to the planning appeals board this morning, Geraldine O'Mahony, a senior executive planner with the council, said the area had been zoned so that recreational space should be protected. She said the southeast area of the city had less open space than other areas.
She described the square as of notable character and surrounded by protected houses. She added that any new building, including a creche or car park, would not be appropriate.
Opposing the order, Mr O'Gara said the square was private property and was never public. He claimed that Dublin City Council was using 'big brother muscle' to steal the land from him.
Mr O'Gara said a car park on the site could provide parking for up to 600 cars in an area near the city centre that had inadequate parking.
He also claimed that the development would be in keeping with the current zoning of the land as it would include sporting facilities like a gym, as well as a creche and tea-rooms.
Thats funny because his predessors in title never bothered to lock the park up when I was younger visiting relatives on Cambridge Terrace in the late 1970's
His proposal is one of the most ridiculous and audacious plays I have ever heard of and that includes the full contents of The Destruction of Dublin as a benchmark.
What I can't understand is that Dublin City Council have needed to go to these lengths as the 10 year lease from 1987 affords full rights of renewal under the 1980 Landlord and Tenant Act and as DCC have been holding over ever since they have acquired a rolling right of renewal for a 10 year term each time.
I would not fancy the freeholder's prospects of establishing the necessary comparable rental level evidence to get any kind of return on what he paid for this park however recently it was acquired.