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Developer sues resident who sought payment to drop south Dublin housing objection

Legal case filed against homeowner who sought €100,000 in compensation over south Dublin development

A property developer is suing a planning objector who sought financial payments to withdraw an appeal against a south Dublin housing development.

The local resident sought €50,000 in “consultancy” fees from the developer, in exchange for withdrawing a planning objection to the proposed expansion of the new apartment block.

Red Rock Developments had looked to add an extra floor to a 77-apartment development at Elmpark Green on Merrion Road. The developer applied for planning permission last November to expand the nine-storey development, which is finished, to add a 10th storey comprising two penthouse apartments.

A nearby homeowner, Patrick Sheeran (75), a former chartered surveyor living on Bellevue Park Avenue, proposed dropping an objection he had lodged against the plans, in exchange for €50,000, before later increasing his demand for compensation to €100,000.

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Mr Sheeran was paid €20,000 after he agreed to withdraw his objection made to Dublin City Council, which shortly afterwards granted planning permission for the extra two apartments. However, when a further €80,000 was not received, Mr Sheeran appealed the council’s decision to An Bord Pleanála (ABP), where the case is among a wider backlog.

In correspondence to the developer, the resident said the additional sum was to compensate him for a drop in the value of his home and loss of light into his back garden, as a result of the new apartment development.

Red Rock Elm Park Ltd has lodged legal papers in the High Court to sue Mr Sheeran in recent days, court records show.

The developer is seeking “restitutionary damages” of €20,000, as well as further damages for losses incurred due to the apartment development being held up. The civil case is understood to allege the actions of Mr Sheeran were an “abuse” of the planning process.

The company is seeking a court order directing the resident to withdraw his appeal against the housing development made to ABP. The developer is being represented by law firm AMOSS LLP in the proceedings. Mr Sheeran did not respond to requests to comment on the legal case on Monday.

Mr Sheeran previously rejected any suggestion he had sought “go-away money” from the developer to drop his planning objection. “I have told them how much I want in full and final settlement; if they pay me that, then I don’t have a claim and it follows that I withdraw from the process and I withdraw the submission,” he said.

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