PROPERTY developer Paddy McKillen has bought a portion of the Booterstown Marsh site.
McKillen bought the 4.86 acre site for a repported €1m last weekend.
The site was originally owned by the property developer Bernard McNamara and sold for €6m at the height of the boom. He had proposed building an apartment complex on the land.
“It’s private property, so he is entitled to buy what he likes,” said Cllr Barry Ward (FG). “There isn’t any development potential in it. I think he’ll have terrible trouble getting planning permission.”
According to Cllr Ward, current protections in place could limit the development of the site and anything seen to interfere with the nearby bird sanctuary.
“I don’t understand how he’s going to make that million euro.”
Last week, preliminary clearing works were carried out on the site by a construction contractor, McHale, but it is unclear if this was linked to McKillen’s ownership of the land.
The works included clearing the land of Japanese knotweed, a common weed, and the erection of construction barriers around the site.
“They had no management plan, no barriers up to prevent any of the material from escaping,” said Rebecca Jeffares, a member of An Taisce, the national preservation body.
“There was no notice given to anybody, to adjoining land owners, to the National Parks and Wildlife Service; it’s a very carefree attitude.”
The McKillen deal was made official on Sunday, just a day after the work was said to be halted.
An Taisce, who oversee the nearby bird sanctuary, has raised issues pertaining to the conservation status of the site and the lack of a clear management plan by the contractor.
“It’s just in an area that is surrounded by areas of special conservation and special protection for birds, and they are all protected under the EU [regulations].
“What they did would have needed permission because they didn’t have licences,” said Jeffares.
The Booterstown site is split into two areas, both within the jurisdiction of Dublin City Council and outside it.
According to An Taisce, the Dublin City side has no conservation status designation, other than Nutley Stream, which is located near the land.
“I’m very surprised [about the land purchase] because I’m not sure what he wants to do there,” said Cllr Victor Boyhan (Ind).
“I would be against any development, I’d campaign against any commercial development on the site. There’s very little more that we can do at this point.”
Cllr Boyhan said McKillian has no permission to clear the land due to the lack of an appropriate licence.
The selling agent for the sale of the site was Frank McKnight Auctioneers and Real Estate Agents