herald

Friday 20 April 2018

'I will be homeless' - more than 40 families living in fear due to planning row

Tenants are worried over Larkfield House
Tenants are worried over Larkfield House

More than 40 families fear they will end up on the streets over a planning dispute between their building's developer and the local council.

Some tenants who spoke on condition of anonymity said they are worried they will end up homeless despite only moving into the Larkfield House apartment complex on Coldcut Road, Clondalkin, on February 1.

Arrears

About half of the families face termination of their leases after they were issued with rent arrears notices by the landlord.

This was after South Dublin County Council confirmed it suspended its Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) while An Bord Pleanala decided whether the developer, Cavvies, complied with planning permission when it converted the former Liffey Valley Fitness centre into apartments.

Permission was granted by the council in September 2016 for 27 apartments.

However, there are currently 40 occupied apartments and several others used as storage, despite the council rejecting planning permission to build 48 residential units last August.

Cavvies appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanala last August 3, and last week this was refused.

Attempts to contact the landlord and property manager last night were unsuccessful.

The tenants, including those continuing to receive HAP payments, fear they will be forced to leave if the building was constructed without the proper planning permission.

Many said they are delighted with their apartments, which are spacious, even though windows are only on one side.

Stephanie (32), a single mother-of-one, said she is facing the prospect of having nowhere to go after waiting for a council house for nine years.

"I'll be homeless," she said last night.

She and other tenants met with a local councillor yesterday to discuss the situation.

However, the meeting was unsuccessful because no one representing the developer or landlord attended, she said.

The only information the tenants are getting is through media reports, Stephanie added.

Elizabeth (19), a single moth- er-of-two, said: "No one was told about any issues with planning permission before we moved in.

"It's not fair on the people living here. I don't want to drag my kids through hostels or hotels.

"I'm only out of care myself. I lived in care for eight years. I have nowhere else to go."

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