Thursday 20 November 2008

Docks authority rules out claims against it

THE DUBLIN Docklands Development Authority has said it will face no compensation claims following a High Court ruling which overturned its granting of fast-track planning permission for a €200 million development at North Wall Quay.

The authority will today announce new procedures for dealing with fast-track section 25 planning approvals.

Last month, Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan ruled that the authority acted outside its powers in approving the development by Liam Carroll's company, North Quay Investments Ltd (NQI).

The court found that an earlier agreement between the authority and NQI, under which the company would give land, free of charge, to the authority, gave rise to a "reasonable apprehension of bias" on behalf of the authority in reaching its planning decision.

The case was taken by rival developer Seán Dunne, who is now seeking an injunction to have part of the development which is already built - an €83 million office block intended as the new headquarter of Anglo Irish Bank - to be pulled down.

Separate proceedings taken by the Spencer Dock Development Company against the authority in relation to the same planning issue, were settled earlier this week.

The authority's chief executive, Paul Maloney, told The Irish Times yesterday that suggestions that there would be massive compensation claims from Mr Carroll, or any other party, were wrong. "Following legal advice I am satisfied that the docklands authority faces no compensation claims," he said.

Although the matter of the demolition of the €83 million building had yet to be resolved by the courts, Mr Maloney said the authority believed no compensation would be payable.

Irish Times

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