Thursday, 17 December 2009

Council's €60m deal with Carroll agreed

A €60 MILLION deal between developer Liam Carroll and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has been approved by councillors.

Councillors voted to accept the deal by 24 to 3.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had instituted legal proceedings in July this year to protect its interests in the Cherrywood Science and Technology Park, following the collapse of Mr Carroll’s Zoe Group.

Mr Carroll owned Dunloe Ewart, the company that had gone into the joint venture project with the council in 1997.

The 64-acre site, off the N11 in south Dublin, was partially owned by the council which also invested €57 million into the project.

The High Court set up a mediation group between the two parties following the legal action and a proposed agreement has now been reached. Two buildings near the front of the park are to be ceded to the council in full under the agreement. Both are vacant and described as “modern detached four-storey office units”. One contains two telecommunications masts, yielding an annual rent of almost €55,000.

Some 20 acres of development land and four acres of open space are also to be transferred to the sole ownership of the council as part of the deal.

The remainder of the site will be transferred to Cherrywood Science and Technology Park and the associated group of companies currently involved in the property.

The council intends to set up a new property company, DLR Ltd, to handle its share of the site.

Speaking last night, Independent councillor Victor Boyhan said he could not support the deal, having taken legal advice, because councillors did not have all the information they required, including the detailed valuations of the properties involved.

Labour councillor Aidan Culhane said he was concerned about disposing of the properties and setting up a new company over which they would have no control. And councillor Richard Boyd Barrett said he did not think the matter should be rushed.

County manager Owen Keegan said DLR Properties Ltd would be 100 per cent owned by the council and any profits made would go back to the council.

He acknowledged he had “slight unease” about the council acting as both planning authority and developer for the development. But warned councillors that “time is of the essence”.

Irish Times

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