Planning probe cost won’t pass €159m despite awards

The full costs of the Planning Tribunal will not go beyond the estimated €159 million despite the decision to award costs to former minister Ray Burke and a number of businessmen.

“We wrote to a number of individuals arousing out of the Redmond case, indicating that the previous ruling denying them their costs was being withdrawn and that they would now get an order for costs,” a spokeswoman for the tribunal said.

The findings of hindering and obstruction made against the individuals in its second and third interim reports are now in the process of being removed.

She refuted reports that Mr Burke or the business people affected by the decision - among them Oliver Barry and James Stafford, who established Century Radio - received letters of apology from the tribunal.

The decision to allow costs follows the result of last December’s High Court settlement between the tribunal and the former assistant Dublin City and County Manager George Redmond.

The tribunal agreed at the High Court to withdraw findings of corruption and all other adverse findings made against Mr Redmond in its Third Interim Report of 2004.

A determination Mr Redmond was not entitled to costs was also withdrawn.

In a statement, the chairman, Mr Justice Alan Mahon, said the estimate of €159 million for its total costs still stood, despite the outcome of the Redmond case.


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