Friday 3 September 2010

Carroll Anglo building approved

An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for developer Liam Carroll to complete the building of the proposed Anglo Irish Bank headquarters in the Dublin docklands.

State-owned Anglo Irish Bank formally ended its agreement to occupy the building in February.

The property was already facing an uncertain future prior to Anglo's withdrawal following the collapse of Mr Carroll’s Zoe Group, which owned the development, and a successful legal action by developer Seán Dunne quashing the planning on the land.

The skeletal structure has become synonymous with the country’s defunct property development market.

Construction on the proposed Anglo head office stopped after Mr Dunne won a High Court case quashing fast-track planning permission granted by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) to Mr Carroll’s company, North Quay Investments, to construct the building.

During Mr Carroll’s failed bid to secure court protection from his corporate debts last year, Anglo offered to loan a further €8 million to his Zoe Group to clad the shell of the building and a further €60 million to complete the project.

Mr Carroll’s firm had already drawn down €40 million from Anglo as of last June to finance the development of the property.

Despite permission being given to North Quay Investments Limited to complete the building, there is doubt whether the troubled developer has the funds needed to finish the project.

According to North Quay's submission to An Bord Pleanála, the company intends to retain the eight-storey structure as an office building. The submission says the owner intends to undertake works that would complete the construction of the building, such as facades, roof plant areas and an internal fit-out.

Earlier this year the former chief executive of the DDDA told The Irish Times there was "no conspiracy" in the authority's agreement with Mr Carroll over the new building.

Paul Maloney said he never had a discussion about the project with former DDDA directors Seán FitzPatrick and Lar Bradshaw, who are also both former directors of Anglo Irish Bank.

The new DDDA board has criticised the deal and voiced concerned over cross-directorships between Anglo and the authority.

Irish Times

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