Charlie Chawke loses appeal over Goatstown vacant land charge

Appeals board dismisses defence that land at Goat Bar & Grill is used as a petting farm

An Bord Pleanála has rejected a plea by publican Charlie Chawke’s Charjon Investments Ltd for a site adjacent to his Goat Bar & Grill in Goatstown not to be liable for a new land hoarding tax.

The appeals board ruled that the site known as the “Goat Pet Farm” on Lower Kilmacud Road in Goatstown, Dublin 14, be subject to the new residential land zoned tax (RLZT), which comes into force next year.

The RLZT annual tax on undeveloped lands is calculated at 3 per cent of the market value of the lands within its scope and the ruling upholds a decision by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Charjon Investments argued that a long-established element of The Goat is that it has accommodated generations of animals on site, which are an attraction particularly to local children.


The company had told the council that the site has previously been the subject of numerous other development attempts, most notably the Goat Strategic Housing Development (SHD) project. This €186 million, 299-apartment scheme was refused planning permission in 2021.

Mr Chawke remarked after the refusal that the site “has to be built on as it can’t stay like it is with donkeys and goats on it”.

Today, there are three goats, three donkeys and one pony on the land and Mr Chawke confirmed on Thursday that plans are to be lodged shortly for a new residential scheme for the site.

In her six-page report on the Charjon Investments appeal, appeals board senior planning inspector Rachel Gleave O’Connor dismissed the “pet farm” defence to the inclusion of the lands for the RLZT.

Ms Gleave O’Connor said that this part of the site is in use for the occasional grazing of animals and, while people may observe and reach through the fence to the animals, it is understood that there was no supervision of this activity, permitted access within the fence or official operation with regards a “petting farm”.

“The use of the land for occasional grazing is not ancillary to the operation of The Goat Bar & Grill to the east of the site,” she said.

The Charjon Investments appeal against the Goat Farm’s RZLT’s inclusion was one of 63 land tax appeals determined by the appeals board in a five-day period and in only one case, Glenveagh Homes, for a site at Castleredmond, Co Cork, was a landowner successful in having the designation set aside.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times