Charlie Chawke does not owe council for pub extension

An Bord Pleanála says infrastructure charges should not have been levied

File photograph of publican Charlie Chawke. An Bord Pleanála has said a Dublin council had no grounds to charge Mr Chawke for an extension to one of his premises. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

File photograph of publican Charlie Chawke. An Bord Pleanála has said a Dublin council had no grounds to charge Mr Chawke for an extension to one of his premises. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

 

An Bord Pleanála has said a Dublin council has no grounds to charge publican Charlie Chawke €21,000 for a 14-square metre extension to one of his premises.

The prominent publican was last year ordered to pay €21,500 to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for renovations to The Goat pub, which would include the establishment of an “Asian style cuisine restaurant”, a disabled lift and a smoking garden.

According to An Bord Pleanála inspector Hugh Mannion, the council did not apply the proper criteria when imposing contributions for water infrastructure, local roads and community parks.

In his report, Mr Mannion said he did not consider that the extra 14-square metres of ground floor space designated for a new smoking area “will materially impact on the demand for roads infrastructure and community and parks infrastructure”, as is required for such charges to be levied.

Scheme ‘misinterpreted’

Mr Mannion’s findings indicated that the council had misinterpreted the relevant scheme, and that it was intent on charging Mr Chawke for 290-square metres of new development, despite the fact that the vast majority of works were to be done within the pub’s existing floorplan.

The body also ruled that it was not within the council’s remit to charge €826.50 for water facilities as the site owner was already engaged in a commercial contract with Irish Water.

As regards the proposed €6,900 contribution towards local parks, Mr Chawke said he would be happy to make further contributions to community facilities and public parks in the future, as he had done in the past, but believed such a figure to be “punitive”.

The Limerick native acquired the Goatstown pub in 1982. It is one in a portfolio of well-known Dublin properties owned by the 65-year-old, including the Bank on College Green, Searsons and Ireland’s most expensive pub, the Orchard Inn.