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Developer challenges council claims

The owner of undeveloped land on the banks of Lough Derg has taken issue with the terms of an enforcement notice issued by Clare County Council.

Ian Symington, previously a director of the Harbour Village, Killaloe, said he has an issue with claims made by the council concerning a marina development. Mr Symington hopes he will be in a position to address the council concerns over the coming weeks, once ongoing negotiations are completed.

The local authority issued an enforcement notice to the developer on February 21 requesting he cease all works on the subject site within seven days of receipt of that notice.

It asked the developer to cease all unauthorised use of the subject site as a mooring facility and remove all boats/cruisers from the “unauthorised area”.

It sought a methodology statement for the removal of unauthorised structures, such as floating pontoons/mooring facilities and details of a contract entered into with a licensed waste contractor and waste collection point, to which the demolished structure will be disposed to the planning authority for agreement.

The council acknowledged that discussions are ongoing between the two parties concerning the issues raised in the authority’s correspondence.

The new management company of Harbour Village also wrote to the council last July outlining concerns they had stating a “derelict site” near one of the apartment blocks had not been top-soiled and seeded. In the letter, representatives of the management company stated there is no current planning application for this site and they don’t envisage that it will be developed in the future.

In another letter, representatives alleged there was a mooring area without insurance and that they have highlighted this by erecting a barrier with a warning notice and placing notices on boats.

The developer Mr Symington disputes this assertion and insists the area is insured. Apart from some levelling works on one part of the site to prevent scrub and the growth of trees, he claimed he has not carried out any works on the development since 2006.

When Mr Symington purchased some land in the area, three apartment blocks were already built. There is a piece of land with 90 pre-construction piles as part of preparatory work for what could be used for 15 apartments, subject to planing permission on what has been described as a “derelict site”.

He explained it was cleaned out and is fenced off for health and safety to maintain his public liability cover.
The Clare Champion understands the developer has sent a proposal to the council to grass the site, which is subject to further negotiations.

Following a deterioration in relations between the developer and the Harbour Village management company, the former claimed he has encountered difficulties managing his own undeveloped land and has sought indemnification for contractors who may be accessing this land to carry out work in the apartments.

Mr Symmington claimed he has attempted to transfer some common areas to the management company but hasn’t been able to do so because certain legal issues remain unresolved. Under the Multi-Units Development (MUD) Act, he claims he only has to transfer completed parts of the overall complex.

The Clare Champion has seen a document that claimed the previous €2,100 management fee when Mr Symmington was a director from 2010 to 2011 included a €500 sinking fund charge to create a fund for improvement works.

The document also stated that the management charge was reduced to €1,750 in the period covering 2011 to 2012, which included a €250 sinking fund levy.

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