Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby PVC King » Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:59 pm

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.

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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.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby a boyle » Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:37 pm

i find myself with an equal measure of contempt for both parties. and little sympathy however it turns out
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:13 pm

are you joking? the city has to win this one...
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby a boyle » Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:16 am

oh no doubt ! but for the coucil to find itself in this position is truly incompetent. The papers have previously reported that the owner in question offered the quare at a modest cost and they turned him down ...

even if that is not exactly true , surely the council would know that leasing a park could not go on indefinetly ?

as for the other nut ... a car park ! ha ha he might as well build a giant hand midlle finger extended.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby PVC King » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:12 am

What was the modest cost?
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby TLM » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:19 am

I read this morning Ideally he would like to build a block of apartments on the park...

Apparently the council didn't buy the park due to deficiencies in the title ... clearly it was adequate enough for O'Gara to acquire it though...

It would be catastrophic not to get the CPO on this one..
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby phil » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:33 am

I very much hope that the City Council win this one. I think it also illustrates the dangers of 'public space' being provided on land that is privately owned.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby a boyle » Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:20 pm

Thomond Park wrote:What was the modest cost?


i think it was around 10 million , i think. I don't even know if there really was such a proposal by the owner.

It does seem ridiculous that were leasing it in the first place. and because of that i am enjoying seeing the council squirm .

but it is a disgrace.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:47 pm

He seems like a complete chancer, and a cowboy to boot. Though that hasn't hampered similar characters from getting their way in the past.
Surely damage to the setting of pretected structures would be grounds for refusal (if it comes to that- I sincerely hope it doesn't)?

One comment I heard on the radio this morning made my blood boil, though, when he described the local children as 'overprivileged'. What a cheek. I know some people in the area with kids, and they live in rental flats, not salubrious individual Leeson Park houses. And the park has always attracted people from further afield than just the immediate vicinity.

Simply put, this must not happen.

(There's an undertone of 'sticking it to the Dubs' about this that I find quite offensive too, the implication that we're all posh richies. Need this even be refuted?)
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby ConK » Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:18 pm

The square should stay. but I don't think it is fair that the tax payer provides the funds when it is almost the exclusive benifit of the residents/property owners. Maybe the residents should do a Fitzwilliam Sq. on it and buy it.

But what would be wrong with a completly underground car park but with the square much as it currently is. What harm? The City could refuse any building above ground level that wasn't a fountain or a bench to sit on in the park.

Then it is to the benifit of parking in the area, but the residents won't like the traffic.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby StephenC » Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:44 pm

I was thinking similarly Conk....
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby phil » Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:57 pm

ConK wrote: The square should stay. but I don't think it is fair that the tax payer provides the funds when it is almost the exclusive benifit of the residents/property owners. Maybe the residents should do a Fitzwilliam Sq. on it and buy it.


If this logic was followed through the same could be said for many small residentially based parks around Dublin. In fact it could almost be argued that people living or working closer to Merrion Square are the people most likely to use it every day. This does not mean that those people should necessarily buy it and keep it as a private neighborhood square. You also take it for granted that everyone who uses the square would be able to afford to purchase it, or pay some sort of membership fees to use it. Basically what I am saying is that if this were to be the case, we might soon find that we are shorter on public space in the city than we presently are.


But what would be wrong with a completly underground car park but with the square much as it currently is. What harm? The City could refuse any building above ground level that wasn't a fountain or a bench to sit on in the park.

Then it is to the benifit of parking in the area, but the residents won't like the traffic.


I suppose because it would be an overintensification of the use of roads in a residential area, and would impact in a negative manner on the entire square. It could also set a precedence for other spaces like this in the city, but then again it seems to be ok for the Dail!
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby StephenC » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:03 pm

[/QUOTE]I suppose because it would be an overintensification of the use of roads in a residential area, and would impact in a negative manner on the entire square. It could also set a precedence for other spaces like this in the city, but then again it seems to be ok for the Dail![/QUOTE]

Its still worth considering. We seem to think too much that parking should be onstreet or in multistorey. It would obviously need a traffic scheme in place but it cant be completely ruled out.

Not sure this guy is the man for the job though. I agree with the anti-Dublin sentiment.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby phil » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:14 pm

StephenC wrote:
Its still worth considering. We seem to think too much that parking should be onstreet or in multistorey. It would obviously need a traffic scheme in place but it cant be completely ruled out.

Not sure this guy is the man for the job though. I agree with the anti-Dublin sentiment.


I see your spatial logic, but I don't think we should be promoting more car parking spaces, when we should instead be pursuing other forms of transport. I am pretty sure that an underground car park here would not mean for any less cars parked at the side of the road in the surrounding area.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby a boyle » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:23 pm

this chancer made up the car parking idea purely for profit. there is abundant parking in this locality. abundant.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:48 pm

The only time I'd agree with the idea of putting a car park here would be if (when?) we get a congestion charge on the canal ring and a comprehensive package of traffic management measures including cycling priority within the city centre area. In other words, not in my lifetime.

StephenC- I presume you mean you agree with my perception of an anti-Dublin bias, rather than agreeing with his anti-Dublin sentiment? (;) I'm only winding you up.)
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby TLM » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:57 pm

There is a large free car park behind the park adjoining the red brick bolcks of flats (not sure what they're called) literally 3 minutes from the park ... admittedly intended for the flats residents but there are always loads of unused spaces.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:55 pm

Mespil Flats? Anyone I know who's ever tried it has been clamped, if not the first time then not long after.

What's wrong with cycling? Or getting the bus? ;)
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:58 pm

a boyle wrote:this chancer made up the car parking idea purely for profit. there is abundant parking in this locality. abundant.



i reckon he said it to wind up the residents
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby PVC King » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:10 pm

But roadspace is not Dartmouth Road backs up every morning usually as far as the old McLoughlin & Harvey Building at the Luas bridge all the way from Dublins slowest traffic lights at the Junction of Leeson St Upper and Dartmouth Road (The lower section) To add two acres of underground parking or any additional parking at this location would be unrealistic and would put an undue strain upon

1> The Canal Westbound to provide access from the East of the City accessed by either Ranelagh Road or Dartmouth Place as the N11 cannot provide access due to permananent peak gridlock.

2> Ranelagh Road large numbers of right turns at Northbrook road would both hinder outbound traffic on Ranelagh Road and diminish residential amenity on Northbrook Road, Cambridge Terrace and Dartmouth Square itself.

3> Mount Pleasant Avenue and additional side streets would be rendered unpassable due to large numbers of right turns from the Canal at Cheltanham Place/Ontario Terrace/Canal Road. This would lead to the elimination of virtually all on street parking at this location to facilitate this parking that is located within 100m of a Luas stop.

4> Sallymount Avenue rendering Leeson Park an ineffective local access due to the queing time required to access Leeson Park.

I could go on
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby a boyle » Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:56 pm

Paul Clerkin wrote:i reckon he said it to wind up the residents

definetely.
but considering seriously for a moment.
Perhaps it is not such a bad thing that he get his way. This whole forum is littered with complaints over plain shite planning. shite planning procedure. ,shite funding for planners, shite powers for planners.

Perhaps this might get the powers that be to finally sort it out.

while a carpark is just too much , building a gym in the corner would not scare the square that badly. (think mountjoy square).

enough thought.

mr clerkin is spot on. he is only having everyone on to get as much as he can for the site.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby jimg » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:32 pm

i think it was around 10 million , i think. I don't even know if there really was such a proposal by the owner.

Maybe I misread it but in the article I read today, I thought he paid 10,800 euro for it!!! The title must be competely dodgy but apparently the council were offered the title for the equivalent amount in pounds seven or eight years ago. Extreme incompetence on the part of the council, if you ask me. Yer man wants to build "two high-rise apartment blocks" on the park!
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby a boyle » Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:41 am

jimg wrote: Extreme incompetence on the part of the council,


that is why i would be delighted if this man got to keep the site, but refused permission to do anything with it.

Surely someone ought to be sacked for such an obvious cock up . According to the papers the family of the original property developer always owned the park and the council never did.

All in all i can't really see why a small single storey gym with outdoor pool couldn't work.

If the papers are right then it is private property and this bloke has the right to apply to develop it as he sees fit. There are a limited number of things that could be done with it so that it would not wreck the whole square, but nonethelees there are somethings he could do.

The council can't just run around taking things off people because it feels like it .......:D :D
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby PVC King » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:35 am

The original property developer would stretch back to 1920 or so if not before

The council are not just taking things they are trying to secure quiet enjoyment of one of their leasehold interests that the current reversion holder seized in January in breach of lease covenent depriving the local residents of their amenity space.

The City Council in 1987 and 1988 invested significant sums in coverting this plot from a muddy field surrounded by rusting railings to one of the best kept secrets in the City in amenity terms.

Any discussion of development at this location is premature as the leaseholder has an automatic right of lease renewal which it is up to the reversion owner to acquire prior to any attempt to develop same. Given the reversion holders past behaviour it is strongly felt that this urban park should be acquired by compulsory purchase order to protect DCC from protracted and repeated breaches of the lease by this individual who has not complied with either his responsibilities under the terms of the lease or common sense.

Jimg

I don't blame DCC for not acquiring the freehold if it is seriously flawed they have protected the ratepayers interest by not purchasing an unworkable interest. DCC should however recover the costs of this process as it is a direct result of the individual in questions serious breach of the lease which forms an implied contract on the same terms as the original lease until possession is surendered.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby publicrealm » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:57 am

Thomond Park wrote:The council are not just taking things they are trying to secure quiet enjoyment of one of their leasehold interests that the current reversion holder seized in January .



TP - I know nothing of the legal position with regard to the lease etc but I must say that I am against the idea that the local authority can willy nilly decide to take over private property for the 'common good' without paying for it.

Property rights are important and need to be protected.

I do not think that the local residents are actually deprived with regard to acces to open space (I think Mountpleasant and Ranelagh Park are adjacent?)

The compelling argument for me is the context of the square and its contribution to the architectural ensemble. I do not believe it should be built upon but I could live with it being a private park.
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