Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:26 pm

It would appear that this matter is affecting the more artistically inclined residents of the square more than we feared. I've read ElijahJulia's work before- its usual form, displaying a subtle grasp of the complex poetics of the everyday, the quotidien if you will, seem to have been corrupted by the bally-hoo taking place over recent weeks. For a country in which even Fianna Fail has some idea of the value of artists to the nation, this turn of events must surely be setting all sorts of alarm bells ringing.

Get well soon, ElijahJulia. Your neighbourhood needs you. If you want to come into my painter all you have to do is ask, and together we can start to make it meaner. Together, yes?
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby Frank Taylor » Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:42 pm

Thomond Park wrote:I object to the description his land given the implied lease contract that is in place.
You seem to know something about this. Does the council hold a right to renew the lease in perpetuity? Who sets the rent? Does the council have the right to force the lessor to sell the land?
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby jdivision » Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:02 pm

What the hell is McDowell doing writing a letter saying the land must be worth at least e100 million. He's now saying he meant to write that it was e1 million. What an eejit. Thomond Park, I think the lease expired in 1998, would DCC still have renewal writes after that length of time. Seems a bit long to me or maybe because it continued to maintain it there is an implied renewal?
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:45 pm

Maybe he's on 10%?
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby PVC King » Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:53 pm

It is clear that if the right to acquire the Fee Simple exists that a right of renewal also exists as renewal is a far less onerous status to attain.

It is clear that DCC will be entitled to compensation for any and all damages that the ground landlord or his agents inflict upon the tenants improvements which at this point would qualify as structures and as such bring the holding into the protection afforded to the tenants as a defined tenement.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby Andrew Duffy » Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:10 am

An interesting discussion about some more of Noel O'Gara's activities:

http://www.askaboutmoney.com/showthread.php?t=9983
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby PVC King » Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:34 pm

Andrew many thanks for this it certainly makes a mockery out of

The council wants to stop Mr O'Gara from using the land as a public car park.

Mr O'Gara told the court he believed the planning and development laws were repugnant to the Constitution.

Afterwards, he said Irishmen had fought for their land for centuries only to have control of the land passed to bureaucrats in the city council.

The landowner said he wants to build a gym, creche and underground car park on the land.


Does anyone know of a functional constitutional democracy that does not use land use planning as a development control system?
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:26 am

Some images of the delightful Dartmouth Square. The place takes on a totally different quality come winter, when the leaves disappear and it becomes an architectural entity once again.

Image


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The notion of a single person owning this prominent oasis of land in the inner city is itself repugnant, to use a term...

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All the gates were locked when I visited…

Image

…and there was a flurry of activity with about 2 or 3 vans and pickup trucks with construction workers on the square, with orange fencing and materials on the backs. They were leaving at the time.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:31 am

The houses around the square demonstrate one of the most extraordinary feats of conservation in the capital - every single one retains its sash windows in what must be a unique state of affairs. And if we even needed proof…

Image


Pretty much all also retain their railings and gates, and the houses are beautifully maintained.

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They appear to date from the late 1860s to the mid-1870s; it’s remarkable how the design didn’t falter in the slightest over the course of their building – all the three major terraces are exactly the same. It would appear that later houses have plate glass windows in the basements (as above) with others having two-over-twos – should check that out.

Even to the rear of houses there’s not a hint of PVC – if anything even more delightful windows in the form of decorative landing frames:

Image

Note the cheap stock brick to the rear too ;)


Nice contrast with the former Carroll’s Building on Grand Parade. Can you imagine the residents permitting this to go up today?! It looms right over the west terrace!

Image



As with much of south Dublin, there’s a lovely muted air to the place. What was it that Elizabeth Bowen said of the residential developments… “the roads run empty as though a premium might be set for walking upon there” or somesuch ;)


Image

Indeed.

Image
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby kite » Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:17 am

:o ANOTHER Dartmouth Square-style row is brewing in the capital.
Dun Laoghaire County Council is to investigate how land, which should have been placed in public ownership over 10 years ago, was handed to a private developer seeking to build an apartment complex.
Yesterday, a spokesman for the council said it would carry out a full investigation into why land at Stillorgan was not passed into the ownership of the council 13 years ago - despite being a condition of planning permission.
The case echoes that of Dartmouth Square in Dublin, which last week saw landowner Noel O'Gara attempt to turn the public park into a car park.
Paul Melia’s full story on…

http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1690185&issue_id=14656
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:43 pm

Interview in yesterday's Sunday Tribune with Noel O'Gara:
http://www.tribune.ie/article.tvt?_scope=Tribune/Tribune+Review/Interviews&id=51051&SUBCAT=Tribune/Tribune+Review&_ticket=Y9SEAOWM4BEFURUSKOO9ANWPOIA9CHVTWRRLIXOICNVMBNKACK3243QFIR0AAMTECYLGBHSI7W2EIOPNPQSEANYDDGSGW4YMHONDLHBR9LLDPIXO0XQFIRY4X9SEAOY9CHYITRRLXNNAGPSEASO9CHYOTRRLJNNAG0SEARN9CHYSTRRLNNNAHQSEAOWOS82EG1C

***

Interesting to note Mr O'Gara's ambivalent feelings towards the whole concept of leases- in favour when it suits him (see link posted by Andrew Duffy) and opposed when it doesn't.

***

Graham,
I think the reason why the square is so well preserved - you note the windows - is that it has one of the longest established and best informed residents' associations in the city. I remember, when I lived around the corner on Leeson Street, talking to the guy who owned the Reel World video shop and he said that his building (I think you took pics for the Vitrolite thread) was List 1 (as was). Now only the most hardcore conservationist could argue that his little two-storey terraced building should be List 1, and even then with difficulty. It was, as he saw it, a case of preservation in aspic, i.e. no change whatsoever would be considered by the conservation bods in the area. It might have worked a treat for this Square, but it's an attitude that sets alarm bells ringing for me (and I'd probably be more sympathetic than many).
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby Andrew Duffy » Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:29 pm

I'm pretty sure his "six-shot repeating shotgun" is illegal due to being capable of holding more than three rounds between the chamber and magazine.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby KerryBog2 » Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:24 pm

Andrew Duffy wrote:I'm pretty sure his "six-shot repeating shotgun" is illegal due to being capable of holding more than three rounds between the chamber and magazine.


I believe that there is no constraint in Ireland on this - the law does not prohibit magazine size, it prohibits having more than 3 rounds in the gun when shooting game, not when gunning for other cowboys.
If the attributed quotes are accurate the local Super. should be told, at least it would make licence renewal a bit more interesting!
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby KerryBog2 » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:26 am

From today's Irish Times

Dartmouth Square park owner back in court
John Downes
19/09/2006


The owner of Dartmouth Square park in south Dublin yesterday gave a continuing undertaking to the High Court not to park more than two cars there.


Noel O'Gara, Ballinahowen Court, Athlone, Co Westmeath, was told by Mr Justice John MacMenamin that if he wants to launch a challenge to the constitutionality of the planning laws, he must bring appropriate legal proceedings.

If he wished to judicially review the legality of the planning acts, Mr Justice MacMenamin added that he must do so by firstly issuing plenary proceedings.

He directed Mr O'Gara to swear an affidavit of evidence before tomorrow.

He also granted him a week from that date to issue a summons and a further 14 days to serve a statement of claim against Dublin City Council. The case is due to resume before the High Court on October 9th.

Mr O'Gara and a company, Marble and Granite Tiles Ltd, the registered owner of the park, have previously been restricted from parking more than two vehicles in the park at Ranelagh, south Dublin. This followed the granting of a temporary High Court order earlier this month, which was subsequently extended.

Under the terms of the order, both vehicles parked there must be the property of either Mr O'Gara, a director of the company, or of the company itself. Mr O'Gara yesterday undertook to continue to abide by the terms of the order.

Carol O'Farrell, counsel for the local authority, told the court yesterday that Mr O'Gara had come to court hoping to join the Attorney General to the proceedings.

This was with a view to challenging the legality of the planning acts, she said, but the procedure he had adopted was not appropriate.

In the circumstances, it was not appropriate for the court to consider the constitutionality of Section 150 of the Planning and Development Act, under which Dublin City Council had obtained the injunction restraining Mr O'Gara from parking cars in the park.

Mr O'Gara, who spoke on his own behalf in court yesterday, said he had not yet filed an affidavit as he wished to first obtain the court's consent to join the Attorney General to his proceedings.

He added that he had " a very clear defence" as a landowner, which he said required the Attorney General to be joined in that defence. He was asking the court to give him the opportunity to make that defence, he said.

Dublin City Council applied for the injunction to restrain the parking of cars on Dartmouth Square after Mr O'Gara opened the gates to the park and offered all-day parking at €10 per car earlier this month.

This led to protests and a blockade from local residents.

Mr O'Gara has previously said he bought the park for "a bargain price, under £10,000" from Patrick Darley, whose family had owned it for more than 150 years.

He has also said he is willing to negotiate with the council, and would be looking for €175 million for the park.




© The Irish Times
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby publicrealm » Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:09 pm

KerryBog2 wrote:Mr O'Gara has previously said he bought the park for "a bargain price, under £10,000" from Patrick Darley, whose family had owned it for more than 150 years.

He has also said he is willing to negotiate with the council, and would be looking for €175 million for the park.



€175 million is ridiculous. It cannot be worth much more that €10/15 million.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:12 am

publicrealm-

We've been debating this a bit in work, with no consensus on the value. How did you arrive at your valuation? It's not something with which I'm overly familiar. Is it to do with the development potential, which is surely a function of the zoning? Or is it based on the price a third party would be willing to pay for the land? Or is there an objective measure?
A colleague wondered whether the price paid by Mr O'Gara ("considerably less than €10,000" as he never tires of repeating) shouldn't be the CPO value, i.e. that in purchasing it he set the value himself.

Thanks.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby publicrealm » Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:03 am

ctesiphon wrote:publicrealm-

We've been debating this a bit in work, with no consensus on the value. How did you arrive at your valuation? .



Well I have no valuation experience but any land in that area has some value. Clearly this is dependant on development potential and the conventional view is that 'open space' land is not developable.

However there is some precedent for the contrary view - for example DCC recently granted PP for development at the Dodder Bank in Milltown (on 'open space' land - subsequently overturned by the Board) and have more recently granted PP for development on the Dodder Bank at Lansdowne Stadium (Open Space and a Conservation Area).

I can visualise a strong argument that the land has some development potential - and that means millions.

In fairness it is not the owner's fault that he got it for a giveaway price - surely nobody would suggest that €10k is its true value?
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CPO issued over Dartmouth Square - Hooray for Kevin B Nolan!

Postby hutton » Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:56 am

Hot off the wires - From RTE.ie


CPO issued over Dartmouth Square

25 September 2006 10:18

An Bord Pleanála has ruled that Dublin City Council can compulsorily purchase a park which was closed to the public last January.

Noel O'Gara from Athlone, Co Westmeath, acquired the freehold of Dartmouth Square in south Dublin for under £10,000, but believes it is now worth €175m.

Mr O'Gara strongly objected to the CPO and appealed to the Bord to overturn the decision.

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This morning, the Bord found that the Council had the authority to proceed.

Dartmouth Square was originally owned by the Darley estate.

The park was renovated in 1987 by Dublin Corporation, which offered to buy the land, but instead entered into a ten-year lease.

Further inconclusive talks took place when this lease expired, and Mr O'Gara, through his company, Marble and Granite Tiles Ltd, acquired the freehold.

Last January, Mr O'Gara shut the park to the public and stated his intention to turn the land into a car park, a plan which resulted in proceedings being taken in the High Court.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby Ryano » Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:57 pm

The full text of the decision is available here:
REASONS AND CONSIDERATIONS

Having regard to:

(i) the provisions of the current Dublin City Development Plan,

(ii) the existence of the park comprising the relevant lands as an element of an architectural “set piece” comprising of Victorian terraced houses overlooking a railed garden or open space where the terraced houses are protected structures,

(iii) the history and pattern of use of the relevant lands,

(iv) the recent failure of the owner(s) or reputed owner(s) to facilitate reasonable unfettered public access to the lands,

(v) the purposes for which the lands are to be acquired as set out in the compulsory purchase order,

(vi) the objection made to the compulsory purchase order, and,

(vii) the report of the person who conducted the oral hearing into the objections,

it is considered that the acquisition of the lands which are suitable for the intended purpose by the local authority would satisfy a community need and would be in accordance with and give effect to the objectives of the current Dublin City Development Plan. It is also considered that the acquisition of the land by the local authority for the purposes stated in the compulsory purchase order is necessary in the absence of alternative methods of satisfying the identified community need. It is further considered that the objection made cannot be sustained having regard to the said necessity.


There is further background on John Gormley's site in the Ranelagh category, including photos of the recent protest.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby PVC King » Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:37 pm

Dartmouth Square owner to challenge ruling

25 September 2006 20:17
The owner of a park near Ranelagh in south Dublin has said he will go to the High Court to challenge a decision by An Bord Pleanála to allow Dublin City Council compulsorily purchase the land.

Noel O'Gara bought the freehold on Dartmouth Square for under £10,000, but argued, as a site for development, it was worth €175 million.

In its ruling today, An Bord Pleanála said the Compulsory Purchase Order was in line with the Development Plan and decided against him, in part, because he closed the park to the public last January.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's News At One, Mr O'Gara, from Athlone in Co Westmeath, said he is prepared to take his case to the Supreme Court if necessary.

He also said he believed the Compulsory Purchase Order amounted to theft by the council.

This morning, the board found that the council had the authority to proceed with the CPO.

The board also said it based its decision on the fact that the park was an element of an architectural set piece, comprising Victorian houses which are protected.

In a pointed reference to Mr O'Gara, who it described as 'the owner or reputed owner', the board also cited as a reason his refusal to grant public access to the park.
An Bord Pleanála described this action as a 'recent failure' to allow the public 'reasonable and unfettered public access to land' for which it was constructed.

The statement said the acquisition of the land would satisfy a community need, something which was necessary in the absence of an alternative.

Gormley calls for action to protect green spaces

Dartmouth Square was originally owned by the Darley estate.

The park was renovated in 1987 by Dublin Corporation, which offered to buy the land, but instead entered into a ten-year lease.

Further inconclusive talks took place when this lease expired, and Mr O'Gara, through his company, Marble and Granite Tiles Ltd, acquired the freehold.

Last January, Mr O'Gara shut the park to the public and stated his intention to turn the land into a car park, a plan which resulted in proceedings being taken in the High Court.

Dublin City Council has welcomed the ruling.

John Gormley, Green Party TD for Dublin South East, said action needed to be taken to prevent similar attempts to develop other green spaces in the city.


Cost a bit more than it should but that should be that; unless the reputed owner wishes to fund a large number of five grand days with little or no chance of recovering his costs.

The CPO valuation will be interesting
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby kite » Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:55 pm

[quote="Thomond Park"]Cost a bit more than it should but that should be that]

Im not so sure TP. The ownership of the site does not seem to be in dispute, all parties aggreed that Mr. O'G was the owner hence the CPO.
I support 100% the view that the park should remain as is BUT was DCC asleep or stupid or both not to buy the freehold when it was offered to them?
The CPO should go ahead, Mr. O'G should get a fair price, maybe 5-7 million? and DCC should hang their heads in shame for taking their eye off the ball and costing the taxpayer a huge amount of money.:o
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby FIN » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:09 am

ha,ha...
not to be the devil's advocate or anything as feelings on this can be very high but the man own's the land.the lease is up and wasn't renewed and therefore the owner has the right to do what he pleases with it. i think abp and the high court overstepped their boundaries and he will be vindicated in the supreme court or europe if he wants to take it that far. for abp to include " or reputed owner " stinks of personal opunioin instead of objective thinking. he has a case. and then will sue the council to get his money back. he was on today fm yesterday evening. he bought the land for a good price and fair play to him. if any of us had the chance we would jump at it too. it may never be re-zoned but hope value is a lot. fair play to him.
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby FIN » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:11 am

triple entry...oooops
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby FIN » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:12 am

double entry
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Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

Postby Ryano » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:57 am

kite wrote:Im not so sure TP. The ownership of the site does not seem to be in dispute, all parties aggreed that Mr. O'G was the owner hence the CPO.

There is still a dispute over the ownership of the site - I'm not sure of the details, but apparently DCC have said that Patrick Darley's title was "deficient", and this is one of the reasons they never bought it. Presumably the same applies to O'Gara's title, but it would probably have to go to court before this is resolved.

ABP's reference to "reputed owner" is not a snide comment at O'Gara's expense, it's just recognising that the question of ownership is still contested. I don't think it's ABP's role to decide on this, so "owner or reputed owner" is appropriate hedging.
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