This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 13 November, 2018
Advertisement

A Dublin developer has been advertising rentals within an apartment complex built without planning permission

Rental adverts for Larkfield House, which were placed without naming the building, have appeared online in recent weeks. The building was constructed without planning permission.

4 Larkfield House, in its former guise as the Liffey Valley Fitness gym Source: Google Maps

A DUBLIN DEVELOPER, who was denied permission to build 48 apartments at a location in west Dublin and then went ahead and built them anyway, has advertised those apartments online for rental within recent weeks.

Previously, it had been expected that a number of families living there who were at risk of homelessness may have been forced to vacate the property as a result of the planning issue, although that situation has yet to materialise.

Developer Cavvies Limited initially sought planning permission in July 2016, which was subsequently granted, to construct 27 apartments over three floors at the site of Larkfield House, on Coldcut Road in Clondalkin. The building had formerly been a gym.

The company subsequently reapplied for permission in May 2017 seeking to raise the number of apartments to 48 over four floors. That permission was denied by South Dublin County Council (SDCC).

5 (2) Larkfield House location, on Coldcut Road, Clondalkin Source: SDCC

In the end, 45 apartments were built on the site, which was then fully let, while the SDCC ruling was appealed to An Bord Pleanála. The planning body’s final decision upheld the denial of permission in March 2018. This means that there is currently no planning permission, and no fire safety (an application for a fire cert was rejected as invalid on 27 March, a week after the ABP decision), disability or compliance certificates in place for the property.

Enforcement notice

South Dublin County Council has since served the building with an enforcement notice, aimed at bringing it back within compliance. Should this notice not be complied with, the council (in theory) can bring District Court proceedings against the developer.

In recent weeks, however, apartments within the complex have been advertised for rental on at least two national property sites – Daft.ie and MyHome.ie.

“This is ethically completely wrong,” Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin told TheJournal.ie.

In both cases, the adverts were removed following requests for comment from the sites by both Ó Broin and TheJournal.ie.

2 (2) The Daft.ie ad, with the name of the building omitted Source: Daft.ie

1 The MyHome.ie ad, both have since been taken down Source: MyHome.ie

The agent in question, Ray Cooke Auctioneers, did not reply to repeat requests for comment. The same agent had previously placed ads for an apartment within Larkfield House which appeared online earlier this year.

“There should be legislation in place to stop agents advertising properties like this,” said local councillor Mark Ward.

Interestingly, those properties were advertised without making reference to the property’s name, only to the fact it is sited on Coldcut Road. The reason for this is unclear (in ads placed prior to An Bord Pleanála’s decision, the property name was included).

Emergency accommodation

Prior to An Bord Pleanála refusing permission to Cavvies for the additional units, South Dublin County Council suspended the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) for many of the families that had been renting the apartments, some of whom had moved there from homeless or emergency accommodation situations.

20 such families were believed to be under threat. However, TheJournal.ie understands that none of those affected have as yet been forced to vacate the property, suggesting that rental adverts seen online apply to other empty apartments at the location.

Ó Broin says that the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) has since guaranteed “that everyone in that property will get the higher rate of HAP”.

“A number of private renters have left,” said Sinn Féin councillor Ward. “A lot of people weren’t happy that they had entered into an agreement with a rogue planner.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Housing said that the situation is a matter for South Dublin County Council alone.

“Regarding planning enforcements, the minister and department are specifically precluded, under section 30 of the Planning Act, from becoming involved in any individual planning case, including the enforcement of any planning matter,” they said.

With regard to the HAP tenants affected, they added that the department had “confirmed with South Dublin County Council that the local authority had been engaging with these tenants and has been working, in co-operation with the DRHE, to assist those affected”.

SDCC declined to comment on the issue as it stands.

3 A Daft.ie ad from January. Note that Larkfield House is specifically named Source: Daft.ie

When contacted for comment, Cavvies director Vincent Cosgrave acknowledged his identity but then said: “I don’t know anything about Larkfield House, you have the wrong man.” The company did not respond to an email query.

Both Daft.ie and MyHome.ie removed the adverts in question when queried about same.

“As Ireland’s largest property portal we don’t manage the properties that advertisers place on the site directly,” a Daft spokesperson said.
Advertisers manage the content of their own ads. We have a list of terms and conditions for advertisers available. All ads have a report ad button and we do operate a notice and takedown policy.

Removed

“MyHome.ie was not aware that the apartment in question was located in a building that does not have the required certificates,” a spokesperson for that site meanwhile said.

Once this was brought to our attention the ad was removed from the website. We will be following this up directly with the agent concerned.

Most recently, last month, Cavvies launched another planning application, seeking to bring the number of residential units at the property down to 37 over five floors. That application was declared invalid by SDCC on 26 June.

vincent An Bord Pleanála's decision refusing planning permission to the developer Cavvies Limited, dated 20 March 2018 Source: ABP

“There is no criminal offence when properties like this are advertised, and it absolutely should be illegal,” said Ó Broin.

Alongside this, there should be legislation in place to make it an offence to have built structures that are not within building compliance. I’m asking the Minister to introduce legislation to make this a criminal offence.
As things stand, it’s illegal to rent this building. It has no planning permission, and it has no fire or completion certs lodged with the local authority.

He said that “in two, three, or six months those in the building could be forced to move out again”.

And that’s just wrong.

Note: Journal Media Ltd has shareholders in common with Daft.ie publisher Distilled Media Group

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

Read next:

COMMENTS (60)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel

     

    Trending Tags