High Court removes legal claim over valuable development sites 

Dublin properties are the subject of a dispute between prominent businessmen, Johnny O'Loughlin Michael Moran
High Court removes legal claim over valuable development sites 

The High Court has vacated a lis pendens registered over three valuable development sites in Dublin which are the subject of a dispute between two well-known businessmen.

In a ruling, Mr Justice Brian O’Moore lifted the lean registered over Glebe House and lands, St Agnes Rd, in Crumlin, as well as lands at Annesley House, Rathmines, and the former Europa Motors site at Newtown Avenue, Blackrock Co Dublin.

The owners of the properties had argued that the lis pendens — which is an official notice to the public that the property is the subject of a legal claim — had paralysed plans to develop the sites and should be set aside.

Lis registered by builder

The lis was registered by builder Johnny O'Loughlin and Mount Pleasant Development Ltd (MPD) against Michael Moran and several firms of which he is a director, Seabren Holdings Ltd, Seabren Developments Ltd, Refit Seabren Ltd Company, and HITC Properties Ltd.

In their action, Mr O'Loughlin and MPD seek declarations from the High Court that they have an interest in the three development sites which are owned by the defendants.

They also seek declarations that the defendants hold the properties in trust for the plaintiffs, and damages for alleged breach of contract, and intentional interference with the plaintiffs' economic interests.

The claims are denied.

Defendants sought to vacate the lean

In a preliminary motion, that went before Mr Justice O'Moore, the defendants sought to vacate the lean over all of the properties at the centre of the dispute.

Represented by Garry McCarthy SC, the defendants argued that the lis pendens had paralysed plans to develop the sites, including obtaining finance for the proposals, and was not bona fide.

It had affected plans to sell over 20 units in Annesley Gardens, which are valued at €31m, counsel said.

It had also delayed a proposed joint venture to develop over 150 apartments in Crumlin, it was claimed.

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