The owners of the Savoy Cinema in Dublin have put the brakes on the Marlet Group amending its ambitious plans for the Apollo House, the College House, and Screen Cinema site on Pearse St.
This follows the Dublin Cinema Group Ltd lodging an appeal against Dublin City Council’s decision to grant planning permission to Patrick Crean’s Marlet Group subsidiary, Atlas GP Ltd, for amendments to its overall proposal, including plans for a 500-seat entertainment venue.
The new application also includes a partial increase in heights of the permitted Apollo House and College House development. The Dublin Cinema Group is holding up the application over its concerns on the effects the proposed venue could have on the Savoy cinema, part of a deal the two sides had struck.
The Dublin Cinema Group sold the Screen Cinema property to Mr Crean’s Balark Investments in 2016 for redevelopment.
In a letter to the council, Dublin Cinema Group director Paul Ward said on completion of the sale, Balark Investments entered into a deed of covenant with the group that it wouldn’t use any of the part of the Pearse St site as a “cinema or theatre venue of any kind” for 20 years from February 2016.
As part of the parent permission however, Marlet had secured planning for the 500-seat entertainment venue. Mr Ward claimed the operation of the venue would breach the agreement.
He said that his firm had initiated High Court proceedings against Balark and said that Balark had undertaken, in writing, not to use the entertainment venue as a cinema or theatre. Mr Ward said he had subsequently pressed Balark to disclose the intended use of the space.
He said that during a discovery application, he found that Balark had not decided on a use for the space. Mr Ward demanded that the city council seek further information from Balark on its plans, given that Balark has agreed not to put a cinema or theatre venue of any kind in the development.
However, the city council granted planning permission without seeking additional information, resulting in Mr Ward, through Dublin Cinema Group, lodging an appeal with An Bord Pleanála.
In his appeal, Mr Ward has told the appeals board that the city council did not consider the grounds of his firm’s submission. Mr Ward has now asked the appeals board to consider the undertaking by Balark in relation to the operation of the entertainment venue.