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Green light for Vicar St hotel with 185 bedrooms: 5 things to know in property this week

Plus planning rows over a Scientology-linked drug centre hit the High Court.

EACH AND EVERY week, we put together a round-up of the week’s biggest property news stories around Ireland.

Stay on the real estate pulse with our five-minute digest, featuring the vital news from the week just gone.

This week, a Scientology-linked drug rehab centre is bringing the planning board to court – and an agreement has reportedly been made to lease part of Clerys.

1. Construction of Vicar Street hotel to go ahead

vicar Source: Google Maps

Dublin City Council has given the green light to developer Harry Crosbie for a new eight-storey 185-bedroom hotel at Vicar Street in the Dublin Liberties, in spite of some local opposition.

A spokesman for Crosbie said this week that it is hoped that construction work on the Vicar Street Hotel will commence on the project in the next number of weeks and that the hotel will be open for business in 2020.

2. Bruton: Councillors should decide property tax rate in their area

shutterstock_9418114 Source: Shutterstock/Tupungato

Local councillors should continue to decide the level of local property tax (LPT) each area pays, according to Communications Minister Richard Bruton. 

He made the comments earlier this week at a parliamentary party meeting. Currently, property tax is based on the market value of a house, but due to the rapid increase in house prices, there have been concerns about the massive leap in tax homeowners will have to pay.

3. Scientology-linked centre takes planning row to High Court 

ballivor Source: Nicky Ryan

A row over planning refusal for Scientology-linked drug rehab centre has reached the High Court. The centre, which is based in Ballivor, Meath, is called Narconon – a programme developed from the works of L Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion.

In December 2014, planning permission was granted for a nursing home at the Old National School site in Ballivor by Meath County Council. In September 2016, Meath council made a declaration confirming that, in the light of the permission already granted and the similarities with a residential drug rehab, that no further planning permission was required for the site to be used as a drug rehab facility. However, An Bord Pleanala made a contradictory declaration late last year and it is now being challenged by judicial review by solicitors acting for Narconon.

4. High-profile planning issues are spooking foreign investors, says Ibec

shutterstock_12193768 Source: Shutterstock/Artur Bogacki

Ibec has claimed that high-profile planning disputes are portraying the country as a “difficult place to do business”.

A new report says the country has “lost ground” in international liveability rankings and a raft of infrastructural projects are needed to help the country compete for foreign investment.  Ibec’s new report notes that the country’s competitiveness is being specifically harmed by issues in its planning system.

5. Clerys office space to be leased to WeWork 

32688890038_2ebc807345_k Source: Flickr/Warren Le May

Part of the Clerys building on O’Connell Street is to be leased to WeWork – an American company that provides shared workspaces – reports the Irish Independent.

Sources familiar with the agreement told the publication that WeWork will take the 96,595 sq ft of available office space within the building. The Dublin landmark was acquired by Europa Capital in September for €63m.

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