Sunday 28 June 2009

Dublin Airport clashes with Park's Cotter over car parks

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is appealing against planning permission recently granted for a privately owned car park, claiming that parking is already at full capacity.

Michael Cotter's Park Developments was recently given permission by Fingal County Council to build a car park with 1,200 spaces on the site of the Cloghran stud farm, north of the airport.

However, the DAA says parking at the airport will already be at full capacity if its jointly-owned facility at Ballystruan goes ahead.

When the development of Terminal 2 was being considered, long-term parking at Dublin Airport was capped at 26,800 spaces and the DAA claims that giving both developments the go-ahead will breach this cap.

The Ballystruan development is a joint project between the DAA and Gerry Gannon and is also currently the subject of an appeal. This development was also limited to 1,200 spaces. However, the developers are seeking to have this increased substantially on appeal.

A DAA spokesman denied the authority is attempting to dominate long-term parking at the airport. "We currently have a live application in train for a long-term car park... If this were also approved, the cap would be breached," he said. The DAA, led by chief executive Declan Collier, is heavily dependent on car-parking revenues.

Park Developments is also appealing the decision to give planning to its car park and is seeking to have development contributions reduced from €9.15m to less than €8,000. When granting permission, the council included two multi-million euro contribution levies – €3.8m under the Development Contribution Scheme and €5.35m to go towards the part funding of the Metro North. However, Park Developments claims the levies are grossly incorrect and is asking to have them dramatically reduced.

In its submission to An Bord Plean├íla, Park Developments argues the development-contribution levy applies solely to buildings and does not include open-air car-park facilities. As the only building proposed for the site is a 72sq m control office, the company argues, the contribution set by the council should have been just €7,992. In addition, the submission argues the €5.35m levy applied in support of Metro North should be reduced to nothing.

The levy applies to infrastructure in the vicinity of the Metro which will benefit from its scheme. However, Park Developments claims because customers will be driving to the car park, they will not use or benefit from the Metro, so the levy is not applicable.

Sunday Tribune

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