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Not the goats in question (file photo) Shutterstock/Linas T
gets his goat

An Bord Pleanála rejects Charlie Chawke's 'pet farm' defence against land-hoarding tax

The publican argued that a site in Goatstown shouldn’t be liable to a new land hoarding tax as part of it is a pet farm.

AN BORD PLEANÁLA has rejected a plea by well known publican Charlie Chawke’s Charjon Investments Ltd that a site adjacent to his Goat Bar & Grill in Goatstown shouldn’t be liable to a new land hoarding tax as part of the site is a pet farm.

The appeals board has ruled that the site known as the ‘Goat Pet Farm’ on Lower Kilmacud Road in Goatstown, Dublin 14, be subject to the new Residential Land Zoned Tax (RLZT) which comes into force next year.

The RLZT annual tax on undeveloped lands is calculated at 3% of the market value of the lands within its scope and the ruling upholds a decision by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

In its appeal, Charjon Investments argued that a key long-established element of The Goat is that it has accommodated generations of animals, which are an attraction particularly to local children, on site.

Charjon Investments told the council that the site has previously been the subject of numerous other development attempts, most notably the Goat Strategic Housing Development (SHD) project – this €186 million eight-storey 299-unit apartment scheme was refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanála in June 2021.

Chawke remarked after the refusal that the site “has to be built on as it can’t stay like it is with donkeys and goats on it”.

Today, there are three goats, three donkeys and one pony on the lands and Chawke confirmed on Thursday that plans are to be lodged shortly for a new residential scheme for the site.

No supervision

In her six-page report on the Charjon Investments appeal, appeals board Senior Planning Inspector Rachel Gleave O’Connor dismissed the ‘pet farm’ defence to the inclusion of the lands for the RLZT.

Gleave O’Connor stated that the appeal grounds refer to use of the site as a petting farm.

She stated that this part of the site is in use for the occasional grazing of animals and while people, including children, may observe and reach through the fence to the animals, it is understood that there is no supervision of this activity, permitted access within the fence, or official operation with regards a ‘petting farm’.

Screenshot 2023-09-28 15.07.32 The Goat Bar (file photo) Google Street View Google Street View

Gleave O’Connor stated that as such, she agreed with the council that this does not form that a “trade or profession is being carried on, that is liable to commercial rates”.

She stated that “the use of the land for occasional grazing is not ancillary to the operation of The Goat Bar & Grill to the east of the site”.

The site also contains a beer garden structure called Apres Ski and a TV Screen.

Charjon Investments told the appeals board that Apres Ski has the benefit of planning permission while planning permission was refused for a range of matters, including an upright outdoor television screen. The refusal is under appeal at An Bord Pleanála.

However, Gleave O’Connor found that this section of the site remains in scope for the purposes of the RZLT map, alongside the remainder of the site.

The Charjon Investments appeal against the Goat Farm’s RZLT inclusion was one of 63 land tax appeals determined by the appeals board in a five-day period and in only one case, Glenveagh Homes for a site at Castleredmond in Co Cork, was a landowner successful in having the designation set aside.

In the 62 other cases, the decision of the local authority was upheld including 18 rulings by local authorities in Dublin city and county.