herald

Thursday 21 November 2019

City council overcharged us €334k, says Trinity

Trinity College Dublin (Stock picture)
Trinity College Dublin (Stock picture)

Trinity College (TCD) has claimed Dublin City Council overcharged it by more than €330,000 in planning contributions for its new €60m science facility.

The proposal for E3 Foundry involves new schools for engineering, computer science and natural science, which TCD says will revitalise the eastern side of its city centre campus.

The proposal has been made possible through a €25m dona- tion by the Naughton family through the founder of the Glen Dimplex Group, Dr Martin Naughton, and his wife, Carmel.

Last month, the city council granted planning permission for the development that will facilitate 1,800 more students, bringing the total number to 4,800 in the three schools.

However, the council is insisting that TCD pays a total of €744,311 in planning public infrastructure contributions and contributions towards the Luas Cross City line.

TCD has appealed the conditions demanding the €744,311 to An Bord Pleanala, claiming it has been overcharged €334,776.

Among its conditions, the council has demanded €494,233 towards public infrastructure and an additional €250,078 towards the Luas Cross City scheme.

However, TCD states that the €494,233 contribution was incorrectly calculated and was €222,296 too much.

TCD claims the correct contribution should be €271,937.

In respect of the contribution of €250,078 towards the Luas Cross City line, TCD claims the council overcharged it €112,480 and it should be revised down to €137,598.

TCD claims the council did not take account of the demolition of the bio-chemistry building that the E3 building will replace when calculating the planning contribution for the net additional space.

TCD says the demolition of the bio-chemistry building was obtained first in a separate application through a two-stage planning process.

Disadvantages

Consultants for TCD said: "To disallow the permitted demolition area against the new building seriously dis- advantages Trinity College in the available funding for the project and is an unfair and improper application of the contribution schemes."

The college has been charged €75.10 per square metre for general public infrastructure planning contributions and €38 per square metre for the Cross City Luas.

TCD says it has been charged in respect of 6,581 square metres, whereas it should have been charged for only 3,621 square metres.

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