Mr O'Gara appeared on the radio (again) on Tuesday in defence of his case. Interestingly, a senior counsel specialising in planning matters claimed on the programme that when or if the CPO's level of compensation goes to arbitration, the State arbitrator must disregard any 'spot zoning' ascribed to the subject property. Indeed a court case has already been successfully brought against the LA overseeing Leopardstown Racecourse over a CPO they initiated that stated the land was zoned as amenity space only, just like Dartmouth Square. Spot zoning would appear to be zoning of a non-conforming land use generally prevailing in the surrounding area. Whether this applies to Dartmouth is unclear. If the site's zoning must be disregarded, it could have certain consequences in this case.
However, whilst the arbitrator may or may not take zoning into account, they must consider the broader principals of the development plan, ranging from patterns of development, history of use, character of area, traffic, protected structures etc etc. Also, should DCC see fit, they could designate the square an ACA or an Area of Special Planning Control to further negate the development potential of the land, though this must be done prior to their invitation to treat (negotiate with O'Gara). Once/if that is inititated, O'Gara has 18 months to hammer something out with them.
His claims are really quite hilarious, including: "The most important freedom you have is the freedom to own your own piece of land, where you live and breathe". Above your human rights of course. And claims that "the politicans" "stole our freedoms" in "introducing these unconstitutional plannings laws". He also supports pre-'63 developments and their prized deevlopment status today, as "pre '63 you had no hassle with the planners". Indeed even when questioned on building nine storey blocks in a three storey area, he claimed rejecting such a concept through common planning practice as being unconstitutional, "placing the case of death on your property". He's stated over and over again how he deems it to be scandalous that 'beurocrats' have a say in your own land and what you can do with it.
"Where is the justice, where have our freedoms under the Republic of Ireland gone to?"
"Pat, when you hear fellas talking about the common good, watch out. That's how they built communism."
Hear it below, starting at 4.45.