Developer claims council demanded extra €219,000 levy ‘out of the blue’

Dublin aparthotel company wins leave to bring judicial review

Holstein Investments got permission in 2016 from Dublin City Council to build the aparthotel near Trinity College. Photograph: iStock

Holstein Investments got permission in 2016 from Dublin City Council to build the aparthotel near Trinity College. Photograph: iStock

 

The developer of a new aparthotel near Trinity College Dublin has brought a High Court challenge to what it claims is a demand for an additional planning levy of €219,000 before it can proceed with the project.

Holstein Investments got permission in 2016 from Dublin City Council to build the aparthotel between Shaw Street and Mark Street, just off Pearse Street.

It claims one of the permission conditions is that it pay a levy of €350,000 to the council for the provision of local infrastructure.

But in January, it says, it received a letter telling it an “additional payment” of €219,000 should also be made as part of the conditions, counsel for the firm told the court on Friday.

Counsel said it was their case the council could only change the condition where a clerical error had been made in the original permission.

The letter “came out of the blue” and had an invoice attached, counsel said. It is claimed, among other things, this was in breach of fair procedures and natural and constitutional justice.

Leave granted

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan granted Holstein leave to bring judicial review proceedings over the matter following an ex parte (one side only represented) application.

He said the case could come back in May.

The aparthotel will be on a site of just under half an acre and will comprise five to seven storeys above a basement, with 159 studios/suites and 184 bedrooms along with associated facilities such as a reception area, laundry room and coffee area.