Developer wins €840,000 site levy dispute with council over €12m site

An Bord Pleanála rules the levy against Cornel Living be cancelled

A developer has won a €840,000 levy dispute with a Dublin local authority concerning a €12 million site – for a second time.

This follows An Bord Pleanála instructing Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to cancel the €840,000 levy it imposed on Cornel Living last April.

In response to an appeal by Cornel Living Ltd against the levy, the board has ruled that the €840,000 levy for 2020 be cancelled as the site off the Old Bray Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18 continues to be unsuitable for the provision of housing, because the site was not served by public infrastructure and facilities necessary to enable housing to be provided and serviced.

The board said the 1.8 hectare site located in Cornelscourt village which bounds the N11 dual carriageway was not vacant on January 1st, 2020 and was not a vacant site on April 23rd, 2021.


Currently Cornel Living Ltd has fast-track Strategic Housing Development (SHD) plans before An Bord Pleanála for 419 residential units and a decision is expected on the scheme in the coming days.

The board ruling concerning the 2020 site levy follows it cancelling a council €840,000 site levy charge for 2019 last May.

Board inspector in the new case, Stephen Rhys Thomas, said the site had already been removed from the register by the board order on May 11th, 2021 and hence the levy charge should be correctly calculated to be zero or no charge.

Cornel Living told the appeals board the site was not a vacant site because of the presence of invasive alien species, Japanese Knotweed, Three Cornered Garlic and Spanish Bluebell which might affect the provision of housing.

The firm said the situation that could take time to resolve and an Invasive Plant Solutions plan had been prepared.

Previously, An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission for a Cornel Living SHD for 468 residential units for the site in April 2020.

Cornel Living also argued that the site was not vacant as a licence to use the site was granted to Geraldine Morans GAA on November 2nd, 2019 and the site remained in active use for sporting activities until housing could be provided on the lands.

Mr Rhys Thomas said even if the site had not been cancelled from the vacant site register previously, “I would still recommend to the board that the site is not suitable for housing because it cannot be serviced by water services. Matters did not change in 2020 that would change my opinion.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times