Dublin 2, 4, Culchies do not Want the Homeless people, in their Area. Why? Well, the Answer, is Simple; Selfish Bastards, some born in Bogs, but buy a Suit in Louis Copelands, a Briefcase, and Away you go……are the objectors.

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South Dublin residents plan legal challenge to homeless hostel in Georgian Hotel

A Councillor said it was ‘outrageous’ local reps weren’t informed and an ‘affront’ that residents weren’t told about it

Father Peter McVerry
Father Peter McVerry (Image: Collins Photo Agency)

A group of south Dublin residents and business owners are preparing a legal challenge to plans for a 74-bed homeless hostel, Dublin Live can reveal.

The site on 99-100 Baggot Street, Lower – which is just around the corner from Merrion Square – hosted Latchford’s Townhouse and Boutique Hotel for several decades before it went up for sale.

The Georgian buildings hit the market at a guiding price of €5 million earlier this year, and the homeless charity has applied for funding to purchase the building through the Capital Assistance Scheme.

Dublin City Council deemed the plans to change the hotel into a homeless hostel did not require planning permission.

In the application seeking exemption, the Peter McVerry Trust argued a change of use planning application is not warranted because the only change will be the wealth of those inhabiting the building.

Now, concerned locals and businesses in the area are planning to lodge a Judicial Review to challenge DCC’s exemption.

The group of locals, many of which found out about the plans through a Dublin Live report, have met a number of times on the issue and a wide variety of views expressed. A smaller number from this group with concerns have decided to take legal action.

Councillor Mannix Flynn, who was assisting them in the process, told Dublin Live they were “highly insulted” about not being informed by the charity of the plans when they have to go through a “hullabaloo” to change a window.

He said: “The big concern is that this is not an exempt development. It is a complete and absolute change of use. It is more about the affront that they weren’t informed and there has been no democracy here and no transparency.”

“They were highly insulted because if they want to change a window there is a huge hullabaloo about it and they have to go through a process. And here is a situation where there was no proper process and no information given.”

The Peter McVerry Trust declined to comment when contacted by Dublin Live.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive had planned to enter a service level agreement to provide the homeless hostel service at the site with the Peter McVerry Trust as “property owners”, according to a letter from the DRHE dated April 19.

Cllr Flynn also said the DRHE – an arm of Dublin City Council – never informed Councillors of the plans which he found “outrageous”.

The site on 99-100 Lower Baggot street - which
                  is opposite the Health Department - hosted Latchford's
                  Townhouse and Boutique Hotel for several decades
                  before it went up for sale. 
The site on 99-100 Lower Baggot street – which is opposite the Health Department – hosted Latchford’s Townhouse and Boutique Hotel for several decades before it went up for sale.  (Image: Dan Grennan)

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council confirmed to Dublin Live the charity would own the buildings under the agreement but did not respond to Cllr Flynn’s claim Councillors were not informed.

They said: “The DRHE is always looking to purchase properties that may be suitable for temporary accommodation across the Dublin Region. Sourcing emergency accommodation for people experiencing homelessness is not without its challenges, but without this vital accommodation many individuals could be forced to sleep rough on the streets of Dublin.

“The purchase represents far better value than contracting commercial properties for short-term use. In this case the PMVT will own the building and they have a strong track record of providing quality accommodation.”

They added: “We are in urgent need of temporary accommodation and there are very few homeless services in this area. The property was already in use as a guest house.

“The transition to long-term housing is anticipated to take place once plans are drawn up and funding secured from the DHLGH [Housing Department]. The DRHE and PMVT will engage with elected representatives and local stakeholders in relation to the plans and neighbourhood management.”

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