‘Right to light’ at centre of aparthotel dispute between two companies

Dispute over planned seven-storey building in Dublin 8 fast-tracked to Commercial Court

‘Easement of light’ case to be heard in Commercial Court

‘Easement of light’ case to be heard in Commercial Court

 

A dispute about a proposed seven-storey aparthotel development in Dublin’s south inner city has come before the Commercial Court.

The owner of an adjoining property has expressed concern its “right to light” would be adversely affected. Tathony Holdings Ltd initiated proceedings earlier this year concerning the site at James Street, Dublin 8, claiming JSH James Street Hotel Ltd planned to build an aparthotel there with hotel facilities, bicycle spaces and ground-floor cafe.

Tathony, which owns a nearby apartment block at Tathony House, Bow Lane West, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, had objected to that plan and claimed the proposed development would interfere with its “easement of light”.

On Monday, Patrick Leonard SC, for JSH, told Mr Justice Robert Haughton the plaintiff was consenting to his client’s application to have the case fast-tracked in the Commercial Court.

In its proceedings, Tathony wants declarations that its premises at Tathony House is accommodated by an “easement of light” over the defendant’s property at 180, 182, 183 and 184 James Street.

Thwarted ambitions

It seeks various orders, including to restrain any development that would interfere with the alleged easement. In an affidavit seeking to have the case fast-tracked, Mark Cosgrave, a director of JSH, said Tathony’s planning objection revealed that the plaintiff was “primarily concerned” that the granting of permission could thwart Tathony’s development ambitions for its own property.

He said he was not criticising those plans, of which he had no details, but was mentioning them simply to highlight that they reflected a commercial dimension to this dispute, He said the James Street site was acquired by JSH earlier this year, having been brought to market with a guide price of €5.75 million.

The site is at present “substantially derelict”, comprises brownfield land and includes a large, disused warehouse-type building on ground that slopes steeply down from James Street.

The defendant has substantial borrowings secured against the site with repayment obligations accruing and it is a “commercial imperative” for it to progress the development of the site expeditiously, he said.

A report previously prepared by consultants had analysed the daylight impact of the proposed development and considered it would improve the daylight conditions of a number of residences north of the site, he also said.