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Massive increase in illegal car parks

Business leaders have called for a clampdown on a spate of illegal car parks which have opened up in the capital.

At least 10 unauthorised parking facilities are now operating in Dublin City Council's jurisdiction, the lobby group Dublin City Business Association (DCBA) has claimed.

However, the council "appear to be doing nothing as yet" about the issue, Conor Keoghan of the DCBA told the Herald.

"Some of them [the car parks] have been there for a long period of time in terms of years. However, there has been a proliferation of them in the last 12 months," Mr Keoghan said.

He added that "desperate" developers are opening up unauthorised public car parks in order to generate some much-needed revenue.

Mr Keoghan pointed out all-day commuter parking in the city centre is "undermining the city council's own strategic policy" of encouraging workers to use public transport.

He said the council is "the single biggest car park operator in the city".

"They have three multi-storey car parks and they operate all the on-street car parking in the city. In actual fact, the illegal car parks are probably eating into Dublin City Council's revenue more than most," Mr Keoghan added.

Further revenue is lost as the operators of the unauthorised facilities do not pay the full commercial rates, it is claimed.

Labour councillor Killian Forde, who is chair of the local authority's finance committee, told the Herald the council needs to take action.

"At a time when Dublin City Council is stuck for funds, it is vital that our commercial rates are collected. They are not authorised, they don't have planning permission and they should be shut down by the council," Mr Forde added.

The council deals with illegal car parks by issuing planning enforcement proceedings.

In one case recently, a warning letter was issued to a landowner to cease operating paid parking.

The council said planning enforcement proceedings would be "starting shortly" in that case.

comurphy@herald.ie