Tuesday 27 May 2008

Top builder may be sued over house plan collapse

LAWYERS for Dublin city council are to consider taking legal action against developer Bernard McNamara after he pulled out of five major public private partnership projects.

At a special discussion on the controversial developments in the centre of the capital last night, the local authority said some €6m had already been spent on the projects -- less than the €27m stated by Mr McNamara.

Last week the developer said he planned to withdraw from the deals worth €900m because of changes to the property market, new rules on the size of apartments and planning delays.

Assistant city manager Ciaran McNamara said last night that the legal team for the council "has been instructed to examine the possible legal remedies" on the five projects.

The sites in which the developer was supposed to be involved were St Michael's estate in Inchicore, O'Devaney Gardens off the North Circular Road (NCR), Convent Lands on Sean McDermott Street, Infirmary Road and Dominick Street.

In cases where an agreement had not been signed, such as St Michael's estate and Dominick Street, there was no legal obligation upon the developer, said a report to the council.

However, where a contract had been signed, there were a set of "remedies" available.

Some 200 protesters turned up outside city hall last night to object to the collapse of the agreement between Mr McNamara and Dublin city council.


Residents of the St Michael's estate in Inchicore said they had been disappointed for the third time after being promised regeneration in the area.

Mr McNamara, from the council, said he had met with the developer yesterday to discuss the issue and that proposals for the future of the projects had been discussed.

The plans from the building group are now to be put in writing and sent to the council, the meeting heard. In turn, the council would reply promptly to the suggestions.

The assistant city manager said he had met with Mr McNamara a number of times over the last few months.

Shane Hickey


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