Re: Re: Dartmouth Square Disgrace
Agreed all sides in this have become entrenched and as disputes go this one has been as fractuous as these things get. It is fair enough to say that all DCC wanted from day one was to secure the best deal possible for the rate payer hence the long drawn out negotiations with the Darley estate.
It is equally fair to say that all O’Gara wanted was a quick buck from a project that he considered the demand side from a rising land market but ignored the context of the subject plot and the input costs of running the asset.
Ordinarily I would agree that a lease would be the way forward in these situations as it would generally give both sides what they want i.e. the occupier would have quiet enjoyment subject to covenants to maintain in good repair whilst the freeholder would secure an income for a specified period of time.
However in this case I am opposed to such an arrangement for the following reasons; firstly all freeholders hold land not only as an asset but also subject to statute and regulations whether Regional, National, Municipal or Local. This implied contract with the state and relevant local government ensures that freeholders behave reasonably and are subject to numerous laws and potential sanctions when they don’t.
Secondly the nature of the interest given the scale of tenants improvements previously carried out and required to be carried out periodically needs to be long term of no less than 40 years to justify expending public money to ensure that an interim dilipidations claim cannot be served at any time by what is known to be a litigious freeholder.
Thirdly fixing a rent would be difficult, one suspects the rent payable on comparable plots would not satisfy the freeholder as this land will always be held purely for a recreational purpose which given the tree preservation orders would make the annual upkeep prohibitive for all but one potential lessee. The guidance in Point Gourde on valuing special interests is particularly relevant here as I can’t see anyone other than the local authority expending the €100,000 a year required to keep the plot and fittings thereon secure, clean, in good repair and not littering the surrounding area with tonnes of garden matter.
I agree that a discussion needs to be held but that a final solution would be best for all parties concerned; it does however need to be on a realistic basis which would involve a windfall for the current freeholder and give a final certainty to the proposed purchaser. €50,000 – €75,000 would constitute a very good return on €10,000 or say €25,000 including legals.