Adamstown developer in row over land with horse breeder

Adverse posession of Dodsboro property since 2004 claimed

Adamstown train station. Adamstown Infrastructure DAC is inolved in the planned development of 2,000 homes.

Adamstown train station. Adamstown Infrastructure DAC is inolved in the planned development of 2,000 homes.

 

A company involved in a planned development of about 2,000 houses at Adamstown in Co Dublin is disputing claims by a horse breeder to adverse possession of certain lands in Dodsboro intended for a community park linked to the development.

Adamstown Infrastructure DAC (AID), a special purpose vehicle within a Lone Star Funds Structure, got orders on Monday for the fast-tracking by the Commercial Court of Edward Dignam’s action.

A hearing date will be fixed later. In his action, initiated last August, Mr Dignam, of Dodsboro Cottages, Lucan, claims he had in 2004 entered into lands known as “The Stable Blocks” at Old Airlie Stud, Tandy’s Lane, Dodsboro, and is entitled to adverse possession of those.

Property

He claims AID’s 2017 title to those lands is a “paper title only” and has been barred by his acts of adverse possession. Mr Dignam says he is well-known in the breeding and management of Coe-Piebald horses and, in his usage of the property at Tandy’s Lane, has had visits from horse body regulators, vets and persons interested in acquiring the bloodstock.

He says he entered on to the property, which formed part of the original stud farm stable blocks of the Airlie Stud, without permission from any party, has maintained exclusive occupation over the years, and has enclosed it by means including erecting locked gates and “restricted zone” signs.

On Monday, Mr Justice Robert Haughton disagreed with Anthony McBride, for Mr Dignam, that the case did not meet the criteria for the fast-track Commercial Court. Granting the application by Neil Steen SC, for AID, to admit it to the court’s list, he said the dispute is commercial in nature and the matter is “urgent”.

In court documents, Ciara Ryan, solicitor for AID, said it is the registered owner of certain lands at Adamstown which it acquired from Castlethorn Construction Unlimited Company in March 2017.

The lands are situated within the Adamstown Strategic Development Zone which envisages the carrying out of the development in sequential phases with delivery of associated infrastructure and amenities for each phase of housing development. Her client is a party to a development. The other parties are South Dublin County Council, Tierra Ltd, Hugh McGreevy & Sons Ltd and Cairn Homes. The council had secured €20 million from the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund for the carrying out of infrastructural development under the agreement.

Delivery

The agreement provides for delivery of 2,000 houses, of which 800 are to be made available for affordable housing. AID’s obligation is to provide about 1,462 of those dwellings, of which about 585 are to be available for affordable housing, plus lands to allow for construction of the Celbridge link road and two community parks.

The agreement requires those obligations must be “substantially completed” by a date expected to fall around September 2020. Ms Ryan said Mr Dignam’s proceedings against her client were an “unmeritorious” attempt to claim title to part of the lands by adverse possession.

The disputed lands comprise part of the lands required to be transferred to allow for construction of one of the community parks. AID will fully defend those proceedings, the speedy resolution of which is of “immense commercial significance”, she said.

AID is subject to significant and time sensitive obligations under the development agreement, she said. Any default risked triggering a penalty clause which could expose AID to substantial costs and frustrate its ability to bring its portion of the 2,000 units to market.