Lioncor takes Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to High Court

Developer case involves planning permission refusal for 445 homes in Cherrywood

Developer Lioncor is taking High Court action against Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council after planners refused it permission to build 445 homes.

Council planners refused Lioncor subsidiary 1 Carrickmines Land Ltd permission for 404 apartments and 41 houses in the Cherrywood strategic development zone in south Co Dublin last September.

High Court papers filed this week show that 1 Carrickmines Land is taking judicial review proceedings against Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Neither party would comment on the legal action, but planning records show that Cherrywood is the only project for which the company has sought permission from the council.

1 Carrickmines Land sought permission for the same development twice this year. Planners declared its first application invalid in June. On September 15th, they shot down a subsequent application made in July.

The Lioncor subsidiary sought permission for 404 apartments across seven blocks of up to five storeys in Priorsland, Cherrywood, along with 41 houses, a supermarket, shops and offices, close to the M50 motorway.

Construction traffic

Planners refused permission on several grounds. These included that the proposals, including measures to prevent flooding, were not consistent with the overall Cherrywood strategic development zone conditions.

They also highlighted concerns about the impact of construction traffic on the M50 and road network.

Government designates specific sites as strategic development zones to speed up planning for housing and infrastructure. Once a project meets the criteria set out for each zone, councils grant it permission, but they can refuse developments that do not meet these conditions.

Developers cannot appeal these decisions to An Bord Pleanála, the planning appeals board.

However, they can seek a judicial review, where a High Court judge scrutinises a ruling to ensure that the council followed the correct procedures when making its decision.

Suburban centre

Accounts lodged by 1 Carrickmines Land show it had spent almost €21.5 million on the Cherrywood site by the end of last year. That included €15.8 million to buy the land and €5.7 million in development costs.

Lioncor is a joint venture between US investor Oaktree Capital and Alanis Capital, a property investment business with operations in the Republic and Britain.

Cherrywood will ultimately house about 30,000 people in a self-contained suburban centre covering 412 acres that will include offices, shops, services, schools and amenities. The total investment could run to €2 billion.

Work began there in 2017. US group Hines bought the overall site out of receivership for €270 million in 2014. That company acts as lead developer, but has sold sites to other businessess which will work on individual projects.

Both the Luas light tram service and the capital’s road network connect the area to Dublin city centre. Cherrywood is already home to an industrial estate.

Early in the century, Cherrywood was the focus of a corporate battle between solicitor and developer Noel Smyth and builder Liam Carroll.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas

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