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Harry Crosbie no longer liable for €70,000 tax after planning board's ruling on Vicar Street site

Dublin City Council tried to have the site listed as vacant.

Businessman Harry Crosbie
Businessman Harry Crosbie
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

BUSINESSMAN HARRY CROSBIE has won a vacant site tax battle with Dublin City Council over a site valued at €1 million.

It follows a ruling by An Bord Pleanála that Crosbie is not liable for a €70,000 vacant site levy imposed on him by the local authority last year.

The appeals board has ruled that the demand for the €70,000 payment from Crosbie has been “cancelled”.

The board also directed Dublin City Council to remove the site, located to the rear of the Vicar Street music venue, from the vacant sites register.

The demand for the €70,000 was initially issued to Crosbie in February 2020 and the businessman appealed the ruling to An Bord Pleanála.

The site includes a large warehouse which has a variety of graffiti at lower level and is in a generally good condition.

As part of his appeal, Crosbie said that the warehouse is part of the Vicar Street venue and is in use every day for truck loading and gear storage, and that this information has been conveyed to the council several times

Crosbie, who has helped transform Dublin’s docklands over the years with the construction of the Point music venue – now the 3Arena – and the Bord Gáis theatre, said that the warehouse is due for demolition as part of planning permission for an eight-storey 185-bedroom hotel.

Board inspector in the case Stephen Rhys Thomas noted that there was no response from Dublin City Council on file.

In his report, Thomas concluded that the site “was and is probably in use and so not vacant”.

“On balance, it is quite likely that the warehouse building provides a suitable place to load and unload a vehicle and provide ample room to store entertainment related equipment and this was not vacant for the period concerned,” he said.

He later added: “I am not satisfied that the site has been properly entered on to the register, it is therefore not vacant for the purposes of the Act.”

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The inspector also said that Crosbie told the board that the site “is in constant use ancillary to the Vicar Street music venue”.

“This is a rational explanation for the use of the building whilst concerts and performance are being carried out,” Thomas said.

“As concerts and performances occur throughout the year, it is very likely the building was in constant use for the period concerned, 2019. I see no reason to apply the charge in this instance and the site should be removed from the register.”

Speaking on Thursday, Crosbie welcomed the board ruling.

He said: “I am delighted and relieved at the outcome. Now, we can concentrate on the re-opening of Vicar Street and welcoming back our customers.”

About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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