Council calls for due diligence before HAP tenants put in properties

by Mark O'Brien
Calls have been made for due diligence to be carried out before HAP tenants put in properties such as Larkfield House

South Dublin County Council (SDCC) is to write to the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) requesting that they carry out due diligence and check planning compliance before placing HAP tenants in properties.

The move comes following the revelations that 44 HAP tenants were placed in Larkfield House in Clondalkin despite proper planning procedures not being followed by the developer.

The developer, Cavvies Ltd., had received planning permission to build 27 apartments at the site but it emerged that the 44 apartments had been built.

An Bord Pleanala recently rejected the appeal to build the additional apartments.
The motion was brought before the April meeting of the Clondalkin Area Committee meeting of SDCC by Cllr Mark Ward (SF).

He said: “The Larkfield House development is a perfect example of a developer having total disregard for the planning process.

“Permission was initially granted for 27 apartments at the site of the former Liffey Valley Fitness in 2016.

“In May 2017 developer Cavvies Ltd applied for permission for a total of 48 residential units.

“The council refused permission and despite this 44 units were built.

“A number of families came through the DRHE and were granted homeless HAP.

“Some of these families had spent a considerable amount of time in homeless accommodation before securing a home in Larkfield House.”

Cllr Ward said that DRHE had placed the families in Larkfield House without carrying out due diligence and checking for proper planning compliance.

“The problem of planning only arose when the council carried out checks after a number of people on our housing list applied for HAP in Larkfield House.

“SDCC need to be commended for the level of inspection carried out and I urge the DRHE to follow suit in future.”

To date SDCC have not payed HAP for the tenants in Larkfield House.

“I have asked SDCC to make these payments on an interim basis so tenants can have the fear of homelessness lifted and give them time to find somewhere else to live while the planning issues are resolved,” said Cllr Ward.

“While the DRHE have some responsibility in allowing families to move into this development, let me be clear here, the only person at fault is the developer, not the families or the council.

“Any and all punitive measures should be used against this developer to send out a message that proper planning procedures must be followed before a single tenant can move into a development.”

A spokesperson for the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive had not responded to a request to comment before going to press.

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