Re: Re: Bricklayers Guild Hall

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Paul Clerkin

The case arose out of the quintessential late twentieth century problem of
the high and increasing volume of traffic in cities. Consequently, in
Dublin, the Corporation decided to widen Cuffe Street, by purchasing and
demolishing buildings, and so sought compulsorily to purchase the
Bricklayers’ Hall, the headquarters of the Bricklayers’ and Stonecutters’
Guild. Appropriately, the Hall possessed a fine cut stone facade, and the
Guild were reluctant to lose it. In negotiations between the Corporation
and the Guild, it was agreed that if the Corporation were simply
compulsorily to purchase the entire plot, the amount of compensation
payable to the Guild would be £ 87, 857; but if the Corporation were
instead to purchase only so much of the plot as was in fact necessary for
the purpose of widening the road, and to pay the cost of removing and
storing the facade and to reinstate it on the remainder of the Hall once
the road widening was complete, the amount of compensation payable to the
Guild would be £ 224,414. The matter was then referred by the parties to a
property arbitrator under the terms of the Acquisition of Land (Assessment
of Compensation) Act, 1919, to determine which of these bases of
calculation ought to be adopted. During the negotiations, and again before
the arbitrator, it was the bona fide intention of the Guild to retain the
Hall and reinstate the facade. On this basis, on 27 May 1985, the
arbitrator made an award on the second basis above. Some time thereafter,
the Guild demolished the entire of the Hall; later still, on 30 December
1985, they conveyed to the Corporation the relevant portion of the plot and
received the £ 224,414. It being impossible to reinstate the facade, there
being no building upon which to construct it, the Guild simply retained the
entire of the sum.

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