Tenants have support stopped over planning fears

by Mark O'Brien

TENANTS at an apartment building in Liffey Valley have had their Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) stopped due to concerns over planning breaches at the site.

 

Last week, Dublin Gazette reported that the apartments at the Coldcut Road were to be inspected by South Dublin County Council (SDCC) due to concerns over planning compliance at the site.

 

The developers, Cavvies Ltd., initially received planning permission to build 28 apartments at the former Liffey Valley Fitness Centre. But it has since emerged that there may be up to 40 apartments on the site.

 

SDCC had refused planning permission for the extra units, which the developer has since appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

 

Tenants from both SDCC and Dublin City Council (DCC) have been moved into the apartments but have been told their HAP will not be paid until an inspection is carried out by SDCC.

 

Sinn Fein spokesperson for housing Eoin O’Broin said the breaches were “staggering”.

 

Deputy O’Broin said: “The developer of these apartments is in clear breach of both planning requirements and building regulations.

 

“Not only do a large number of the apartments have no planning permission but none of the units have submitted commencement, completion, disability or fire safety certificates.

 

“It is illegal for a property to be occupied without a completion certificate.

 

“From speaking with senior council officials I understand that there are no fire safety issues in the development. However the scale of the developers legal breaches is staggering.”

 

Deputy O’Broin added that the families who have moved in to the apartments are now at risk of homelessness.

 

“SDCC should provide HAP payments on an interim measure until An Bord Pleanala makes its planning division,” he said.

 

SDCC confirmed that they were aware of the situation and that HAP payments had been suspended.

 

A SDCC spokesperson said: “The owner/developer got permission for 28 apartments and submitted a new application for 40 apartments which is now subject to appeal to an Bord Planala.

 

“There are a number of properties HAP’d by DCC. SDCC have some applications but not processed.

 

“We have notified the applicants and the agents we are not processing the HAP here until the issues are resolved.”

 

Dublin City Council said: “The Homeless HAP section are not taking new HAP applications from tenants who wish to rent in Larkfield House due to concerns expressed to us by SDCC. Those we accepted prior to these concerns being raised will be processed as normal with rent being paid through the national payments system subsequently. These payments will continue until tenancy end.”

 

A spokesperson for Cavvies Ltd was unavailable to comment at the time of going to press.

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