Property co-owned by junior minister Robert Troy probed for breaching planning laws
24th August 2022
A property co-owned by junior minister Robert Troy is being investigated for alleged unauthorised development.
The Dublin property, in a development where one-bedroom units are being let for over €1,500 per month, also has no fire-safety certificate.
Dublin City Council (DCC) previously investigated the unauthorised construction of fire-escape stairs at the back of the same property, which has been subdivided into four rental units by Mr Troy and his business partner.
Mr Troy is under pressure over his failure to fully declare details of his property interests on the Dáil register
He revealed yesterday that he has nine rental properties and receives Housing Assistance Payment for five tenants.
The Fianna Fáil TD told RTÉ that his properties are compliant with all regulations, including fire regulations.
But the Irish Independent can reveal that DCC issued a formal warning letter and initiated an investigation for alleged unauthorised development outside of designated working hours on the property at Rathdown Road in Phibsborough in July 2020.
The council’s planning enforcement office said yesterday that the file is still open.
Under planning law, the council can issue enforcement proceedings over unauthorised developments, with a person found guilty on indictment liable for fines of up to €10m, imprisonment of up to two years, or both.
The council also separately confirmed there is no fire-safety certificate on the register for the property, which is co-owned by Mr Troy and his business partner, John Noel McGivney.
Mr Troy’s spokesperson did not respond to queries on these matters last night.
The TD said last week that he sold the garden of this property in 2020, but has declined to provide further details.
The development consists of two one-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments. One of the one-bedroom units was listed on rent.ie for €1,550 per month earlier this year.
“The minister has provided a full statement on the matter and answered questions comprehensively again today. Should further questions arise he is happy to address them when the Dáil returns,” his spokesperson said.
On foot of a complaint in 2015, DCC’s enforcement office said in 2016 that the metal fire-escape stairs was “inconsistent with the character of the structure itself and neighbouring structures”.
Mr Troy and Mr McGivney later sought planning for the unauthorised development –known as retention permission – from the council, which approved it.
The DCC enforcement office file also shows that in 2015 and 2016, the local authority investigated allegations that Mr Troy and Mr McGivney did not obtain planning for the renovation and conversion of the building – which had been split into seven units – into four residential units.
DCC determined that as the property was a pre-1963 development, planning permission was not required to subdivide the property and told the complainant it could not take enforcement action.
Asked about a report by The Ditch that Mr Troy had failed to obtain a fire-safety certificate for the property, DCC said: “There is no fire-safety certificate on the register for this address.”