Re: Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace

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O’Gara: give me ¤10m for park or I’ll plant vegetables
Mark Hilliard

CONTROVERSIAL businessman Noel O’Gara offered council officials the chance to purchase Dartmouth Square in south Dublin at a ‘knock-down’ price of €10m in the final days of negotiations between the two parties.

As revealed in last week’s Sunday Tribune, Dublin City Council officials have decided not to go ahead with a Compulsory Purchase Order of the Ranelagh park because of concerns over the cost.

Last Wednesday, council officials responded with a maximum offer of €300,000 which was rejected by O’Gara as “an insult”. Two days later, the council issued a statement confirming that they would not be executing the CPO as it would cost too much money.

“We have been advised that if we proceed with the completion of the compulsory purchase process to arbitration stage we would expose the City Council to the possibility of a substantial and financially prohibitive award,” it read.

O’Gara says he is now considering digging foundations on the site to build himself a house and garden in which to grow vegetables. He is convinced he can carry out the project without securing planning permission by building the property for agricultural use. With the “notice to treat” not having been served, the park remains firmly in O’Gara’s ownership and local residents will continue to be without an amenity that has been enjoyed since the 19th century. O’Gara said he had made a final offer to hand over the property for €10m, a deadline which he set for last Friday. He paid less than €10,000 for the land in 2005.

“I would say that is an insult. It’s good news for me – the CPO is a dead duck,” he said. “If they wanted to buy it they should have approached me and asked me to do a deal instead of this big brother act of abusing the law.”

O’Gara said he is ready to file papers with the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn a High Court ruling from 2006 which stated that he is not to use the area as a car park.

That plan provides for a six storey, 1,500-space structure.

“There would be a curtain of trees around it so you wouldn’t even know it was there,” he said. “If anything it would be an amenity for the residents. In my opinion that is a much greater amenity for everyone in Dublin, (rather) than a park for a couple of people to take their dogs out for a shit.”

June 22, 2008

http://www.tribune.ie/news/home-news/article/2008/jun/22/ogara-give-me-10m-for-park-or-ill-plant-vegetables/

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