Fianna Fáil minister Robert Troy was pursued by Dublin City Council (DCC) for not seeking planning permission for a development at one of his investment properties. He has also failed to obtain a fire safety certificate for the same property.
A DCC spokesperson last week told The Ditch that the council dropped proceedings against Troy because it had been decided he didn’t need planning permission for the construction work. A different spokesperson this week however said that planning permission would be required for the work Troy had carried out at the property.
Failure to comply with fire safety regulations is an offence punishable by a fine of up to €5,000 and six months’ imprisonment, under the Building Control Acts 1990-2006.
Troy charges tenants €1,500 a month for one-bed flats in the Phibsboro development.
No planning permission for the conversion of seven bedsits into four apartments
Minister for trade promotion Robert Troy bought the Dublin 7 building with business partner John Noel McGivney in 2015.
Shortly afterwards the pair converted the seven-bedsit property into two one-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments.
They didn’t seek planning permission from Dublin City Council for this work.
In 2015 DCC opened an enforcement file against Troy and McGivney over the development.
DCC closed the enforcement file in September 2016. The council initially told The Ditch that it made this decision based on its interpretation of rules concerning pre-1963 structures.
A spokesperson told The Ditch, “As this is a pre-1963 development, planning permission is not required and enforcement action cannot be taken regarding the alleged subdivision."
When DCC was pressed on the matter it eventually conceded that planning permission and a fire safety certificate were required for developments like this. The council also confirmed that the property doesn’t have a fire safety certificate.
“A fire safety certificate is required when… a material alteration… occurs in a building. There is no fire safety certificate on the register for this address. Planning permission would be required to go from seven bedsits to four self-contained flats,” said a DCC spokesperson yesterday in a statement to The Ditch.
Under a planning law known as the seven-year rule, DCC will not be able to pursue the Westmeath duo after the end of this year.
The Ditch understands that a former party colleague of Troy’s based in the north of the country last week submitted a fresh complaint to DCC’s planning enforcement unit alleging that the development is unlawful.
Last Thursday a man living in the Dublin 7 building told The Ditch that Troy was charging €1,500 a month for a small one-bedroom flat.
Troy declined to comment.