July 17, 2005 at 10:09 pm #707982JPDParticipant
Green Party criticises land law loophole
Sunday, 17th July, 2005
The continued existence of a legal loophole which allows private companies to purchase State property at prices far below its commercial value has been criticised by the Green Party.
The party’s finance spokesman, Dan Doyle said the likely purchase of a 25 acre plot of State land in the Dublin Port area for 20 million euro, far less than its 300 million euro estimated full value, has led to concern that emergency legislation brought in by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment in May has not closed it off.
The legislation was introduced after a tenant on an IDA-owned site used the same loophole to purchase a multi-million euro site.
Under the loophole a tenant who has sub-let a site using specific criteria can cancel all other agreements on the land, creating the right to purchase the property for only the fee simple, or freehold.
Describing the situation as a scandal, Mr Boyle said: “This public land loophole is one of the this Government’s biggest losses to the taxpayer in recent years.
“Once again the Government have proved to be utterly incompetent when it comes to responsible Government as bankers of the public’s money.
“The Government has a duty to tell us how many other state companies are vulnerable to the purchase of State land at ridiculously low price. It now appears that if all the loopholes have not been plugged it will be late September before the matter can be rectified.”
Mr Boyle said the Government’s amending legislation only protected State companies under the remit of his department; the IDA, Udaras na Gaeltachta, and the Shannon Development Company.
It is understood that the company seeking to purchase the Dublin Port site is called South Wharf, led by Paul Coulson. The site had been rented to Irish Glass Bottle Ltd.
July 18, 2005 at 11:12 am #759875AnonymousParticipant
South Wharf bid for Ringsend site
18 July 2005 10:00
The South Wharf company has confirmed that one of its subsidiaries has applied to the Dublin Port Company to acquire full ownership of the site of the former Ringsend glass factory, which it currently leases.
Earlier this year the company was refused permission to use the former glass making plant for warehousing.
Following the decision, South Wharf said it was preparing a plan to redevelop the site.
The area occupied by the Ringsend site has been rezoned to permit commercial, residential and retail use.
A statement from South Wharf said it had been advised that it was entitled to seek full ownership under the relevant provisions of the Landlord & Tenant Acts.
Dublin Port is opposing the move and the matter is now the subject of litigation.
It is understood that where a company holding a lease creates a sub-lease, it can acquire the right to buy the ‘fee simple’, or ownership, for the property for a multiple of its annual rent.
I just spotted this on RTE,
The Dublin Port Company it would appear hasn’t consented to a sub-let as South Wharf are the group that bought out Ardagh who were the holding company for the ‘Irish Glass Bottle Company’ amongst other entities who held the site for as long as I can rememeber. As the same entity a sub-lease between the two wouldn’t have effect for the purpose sought.
According to unisionQuote:SOUTH Wharf, the company formerly known as Ardagh, is still awaiting a decision on its legal action against Dublin Port Company over a change of use for its substantial warehousing facilities at Ringsend, Dublin, according to chairman Paul Coulson. South Wharf lost €]
This one could be running for a while although it does appear that the legislation framed by the government is totally incapable of performing the function for which it was designed. If South Wharf fail it will be because of vigilence on the part of Dublin Port and not on the basis of any government protection.
If this site is acquired and the Dublin Port Company apply for land-reclamation into Dublin Bay there will be a nimby storm that will be on the scale of Dun Laoghaire baths but from three suburbs.
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