The Law Society has succeeded in its appeal against a vacant site levy on a part of its Blackhall Place campus, though the appeal was opposed by Dublin City Council.
The bustling Dublin 7 home of the solicitors’ profession received the 2018 levy demand for €260,000 in relation to an adjoining site at Benburb Street.
This site is held in the name of a wholly-owned Law Society subsidiary – Benburb Street Property Company Limited.
Dublin City Council placed the (just over) one-acre parcel of land on its vacant site register, with the attendant large levy.
However, the Law Society appealed the levy demand to An Bord Pleanála.
On the basis of significant work done by the Law Society, including the installation of sports facilities, landscaping and major improvements to the streetscape, the planning authority determined that the site no longer detracted from the character of the area and declared that it “no longer has adverse effects on the character of the area”.
It therefore directed that the Law Society be deleted from the vacant site register.
Given that the levy was due to increase from 3% to 7% in 2019, and combined with an increased financial valuation on the site, this decision is likely to save the Law Society approximately €2.5 million over three years.
The Law Society’s director of finance and administration Cillian MacDomhnaill said: “This is our third appeal to An Bord Pleanála on this issue and we are very relieved about this significant victory.
“We look forward to working productively with Dublin City Council on the future development of the site.”