Monday 22 August 2011

Kennedy seeks go-ahead for Baldoyle site

A company belonging to the family of businessman Jim Kennedy -- who is facing a possible criminal corruption trial related to land rezonings -- has lobbed in a fresh planning application for the massive €100m-plus development of 400 homes in north Dublin.

The family's company, Regents Park Developments, was refused planning permission in 2008 by Fingal County Council for a similar development on the land which is in Baldoyle.

Mr Kennedy is not a director of the firm, which is run by his sons Joseph and Patrick as well as his wife, Antoinette Kennedy. Both Joseph and Antoinette list their addresses as being in the Isle of Man.


The new planning application submitted to the local council indicates that Regents Park wants to build 400 homes, including 185 three-bedroom apartments, 49 five-bedroom houses, 14 townhouses and 61 two-bedroom apartments.

The development aims to be spread over 15 buildings varying in heights from three to eight storeys. The company also wants to build a creche and three retail units at the site.

A previously rejected planning application called for 422 homes, a creche and six retail units. At the time, it had been expected to cost in the region of €200m to build.

Late last year, Barford Holdings, a Bahamas-registered company understood to be linked to the Kennedys, approached Fingal County Council seeking outline planning permission to build a three-storey 150-bedroom hotel and a retirement home on the controversial former racecourse in Baldoyle.

The council granted that outline permission in January.

Jim Kennedy -- whose family still owns an amusement arcade on Dublin's Westmoreland Street -- was charged with corruption last October in the District Court after he had been detained by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB). CAB has been investigating Mr Kennedy's UK-based Jackson Way property company.

Mr Kennedy was charged alongside three former councillors, and one sitting councillor. Mr Kennedy was charged with 16 offences, including allegations of payments made to former Dublin city councillor Sean Gilbride, to former Dublin city councillor Jack Larkin and to former Dublin city councillor Liam Cosgrave.

It is alleged that Mr Kennedy made payments in an effort to induce politicians to rezone land at Carrickmines in south Dublin. Mr Kennedy was granted a stay on his impending trial late last month by the Supreme Court, pending that court's determination of his appeal against the High Court's refusal to stop his trial, which is slated to begin in October.

John Mulligan
Irish Independent

Irish Times

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