DEVELOPER RAY Grehan faces legal action by Dublin City Council for running an unauthorised car park at the former veterinary college site in Ballsbridge for which he paid more than €170 million four years ago.
The 200-space car park is one of six which the council is taking enforcement proceedings against after warnings to close were not complied with. The council has issued a further four warning letters to businesses and individuals for operating car parks without permission and is investigating several others.
Mr Grehan last June secured planning permission from Bord Pleanála for a development of apartments, shops and offices on the 2.2 acre site, but said he was not in a position to proceed with the scheme at that time.
Yesterday he said he could not understand the council’s actions as the permission included sanction for 280 parking spaces. There was also an existing permission on the site for a car park for the use of nearby business Ballsbridge Motors, which does not run out until later this year.
“I think it’s bizarre that they’re refusing it in the current climate. There are 200 spaces in a key location where parking is needed, given the closure of the Wesley car park.”
Mr Grehan said he planned to appeal the council’s decision.
He said he hoped to develop the site as sanctioned by An Bord Pleanála once the economy recovered.
All car parks must have planning permission, specific to the type of car park (whether public or private), and the number of spaces, the council said. Public car parks also pay rates to the council, which are set at a higher level than car parks which may be attached to a business or apartment developments and are for staff or residents only. There are about 20 authorised parks in Dublin city centre and these are being undercut by illegal operators, Tom Coffey of the Dublin City Business Association said.