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High court challenge over plans to redevelop historic Iveagh Markets

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Iveagh Markets building in The Liberties is a protected structure

Iveagh Markets building in The Liberties is a protected structure

Iveagh Markets building in The Liberties is a protected structure

A High Court challenge has been brought over Dublin City Council's decision to deem a planning application to redevelop the Iveagh Markets buildings invalid.

The action has been brought by a number of related entities, including Iveagh Markets Hotels, businessman and hotel- ier Martin Keane, Redcaps Developments, Slattery's and Traditional Iveagh Markets.

It relates to a site in Dublin's Liberties that includes the Iveagh Markets building, which is a protected structure and housed the former Mother Redcaps Market.

The markets were established in the early 20th century but closed in the 1990s.

Iveagh Markets Hotels submitted a planning application last December to redevelop two plots of land separated by Lamb Alley.

On the western side of the plot, which mainly comprises the Iveagh Markets buildings, the developer sought permission for a distillery/brewery, together with a restaurant, deli, bakery at basement level and a 128-room four-star hotel.

On the eastern side of the alley, the applicant sought permission to develop a 148-room three-star hotel and a hostel.

Last January 17, the council deemed the application invalid on the grounds that the app- licant had insufficient legal interest in the lands.

The council said no letter of consent from the owners of the site, which is required under the planning laws, was submitted with the application.

The council says it owns the lands, and at a meeting of its elected members in January, it announced its intention to repossess the Iveagh Markets from Mr Keane.

Sufficient

The council said it had broken off negotiations with him on the future of the listed building after he allegedly failed to show he had sufficient funds to develop the site.

Yesterday, Michael O'Donnell, for the applicants, said the council's claims of ownership are disputed.

He said his client, who has controlled the site for many years, paid a fee of €888,816 to the council for the land in 2006, but that sum has been held on deposit.

He said it is his client's case that the council acted unreasonably. The council, he said, acted contrary to fair procedures and had failed to give an adequate reason for its decision.

The applicants also claim the council is biased in that it allowed a material interest to be incorporated into its decision-making process.

They are seeking various orders and declarations, including an order quashing the council's decision to deem the application invalid.

Permission to bring the proceedings was granted by Mr Justice Charles Meenan, who said the case could come back in October.