Monday, 26 January 2009

O'Callaghan appeals against planning permission for his own Cork project

Developer Owen O'Callaghan has had plans for a 21-storey tower, near his Mahon Point shopping centre in Cork, appealed to An Bord Pleanála by a neighbouring developer and by local residents. He has also appealed the planning permission himself.

O'Callaghan and his business partner John Deane have plans to build 325
apartments, a 184-bedroom hotel and some medical and retail related-units on the site, part of which was originally earmarked for a conference centre.

Cork city council gave permission for the plan to go ahead subject to 19 conditions, but McCarthy Developments (Cork), local residents and O'Callaghan have all appealed the decision.

The council had ruled that O'Callaghan's company, Riga, would have to pay almost €8.5m towards public infrastructure and facilities as part of the planning permission. Riga is owned by Elendale Investments, whose properties rose in value from around €44m to €204m following a revaluation in 2004. Elendale has since become an unlimited company, meaning it does not have to file publicly available accounts.

Meanwhile, new research has confirmed the speed at which development land prices in Ireland have dropped since their peak in 2006. Property market data company The Property Week last week released research showing that land prices had fallen by more than 75% in some cases. Its data was based on advertised prices, rather than selling prices, but still found that "the average price per hectare for mixed-use sites fell by around two-thirds, while sites with industrial buildings fell by around 40%" in value.

Sunday Tribune

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