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Friday 15 December 2017

Land League's Beades' stalled plan leaves site at 1916 home an eyesore

General view of site (with house once lived in by Thomas Clarke) on Richmond Avenue, off Richmond Road, Fairview, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of site (with house once lived in by Thomas Clarke) on Richmond Avenue, off Richmond Road, Fairview, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

THIS concrete eyesore is all that remains of a multi-million-euro development built by the face of the New Land League, Jerry Beades.

Rusting fences surround the rubbish-strewn site in north Dublin where he planned to open a large apartment complex beside the historic Fairview home of one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, Thomas Clarke.

Mr Beades ran out of cash for the development of about 50 apartments after the economic crisis struck, and building stopped six years ago.

Construction vehicles, including a van bearing his name, remain parked at the site which is on Dublin City Council's derelict sites register.

Sites can be classified as derelict if they contain dangerous or ruined structures and are in a neglected or unsightly condition.

Mr Beades (56) has been at the forefront of the New Land League's campaign to help solicitor Brian O'Donnell in his bid to prevent Bank of Ireland repossessing his lavish former Killiney home, Gorse Hill.

The Herald yesterday reported that Mr Beades - once part of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's "Drumcondra Mafia" - ran up debts of almost €16m during the boom years, though he says he is in the process of appealing it all through the courts and insists he will win.

Bank of Scotland secured a €9.6m judgement against him in July 2012 in relation to loans extended to build the apartments complex in Richmond Avenue, Fairview.

disappointed

Mr Beades told the Herald that if he had been given a further €2m he could have finished the development and paid the bank back with the proceeds of selling the apartments.

But he said work stopped on the site in 2009 as "it made no sense to continue".

Mr Beades had a number of grand plans for the land. Last night he told the Herald that he was disappointed that he did not get to finish the project.

Asked about the site's inclusion on the register for derelict, dangerous buildings, he said: "Go talk to the banks."

He said he has "no plans" for the site, adding: "Sure, I'm not in control of it. It all stopped because of the bank. It's nothing to do with me."

The Thomas Clarke house, 31 Richmond Avenue, was to remain at the site with Mr Beades seeking to develop apartment blocks alongside it.

The house was the family home of the executed leader up to the day he left to lead the Rising. The large house is currently divided into flats.

A string of planning permissions were sought in relation to the adjoining land over the last 15 years.

In August 2000, Mr Beades applied to Dublin City Council for permission to demolish five buildings in Richmond Avenue as well as industrial units at their rear to make way for four apartment blocks - one to be five storeys tall - with a combined 77 units between them.

The application was refused in 2001, with a council planner raising concerns about the development's density.

In 2003, Mr Beades applied again with a scaled-down project seeking to build three apartment blocks with fewer floors.

Permission for this plan was granted by the city council with a number of conditions, and construction began at the site in the years that followed.

securing

The developer later secured planning permission to build a fourth apartment block behind Richmond Avenue.

Mr Beades twice applied for extensions to the original 2003 planning permission, securing extra time for the plans in a 2008 application.

The local authority wrote to him following a renewed extension application at the end of 2011 seeking more information.

The matter does not appear to have progressed further.

Mr Beades issued a statement to the Herald in which he said that "the compliance matters requested by DCC were completed".

Three Richmond Avenue addresses associated with the plans - numbers 21, 27 and 29 - are now listed on the city council's derelict sites register.

hnews@herald.ie

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