Harry Crosbie wins vacant site tax battle over Vicar Street

Harry Crosbie wins vacant site tax battle over Vicar Street

As part of his appeal, Harry Crosbie stated that the warehouse is part of the Vicar Street venue and is in use every day for truck loading and gear storage.

Businessman Harry Crosbie has emerged victorious in a vacant site tax battle with Dublin City Council over a site valued at €1m.

This follows An Bord Pleanála ruling that Mr Crosbie is not liable for a €70,000 vacant site levy imposed on him by Dublin City Council last year.

The appeals board has ruled that the demand for payment of the €70,000 on Mr Crosbie is “cancelled”.

The board has also directed Dublin City Council to remove the site, located to the rear of the Vicar Street music venue, from the vacant sites register.

Mr Crosbie welcomed the board ruling. He said: "I am delighted and relieved at the outcome. Now, we can concentrate on the re-opening of Vicar Street and welcoming back our customers."

The vacant site demand for the €70,000 was issued to Mr Crosbie in February 2020 and Mr Crosbie appealed the ruling to An Bord Pleanála.

The site includes a large warehouse which has a variety of graffiti at lower level and is in a generally fair condition of repair.

As part of his appeal, Mr Crosbie stated that the warehouse is part of the Vicar Street venue and is in use every day for truck loading and gear storage and this information has been conveyed to the council several times.

Mr Crosbie - who has helped transform Dublin's docklands over the years with the construction of the Point music venue, now the 3Arena and the Bord Gáis theatre - stated that the warehouse is due for demolition as part of a planning permission for an eight storey 185 bedroom hotel.

No response from Council

Board inspector in the case, Stephen Rhys Thomas recorded that there was no response from Dublin City Council on file.

In his report, Mr Rhys Thomas concluded that the site “was and is probably in use and so not vacant”.

He stated: “On balance, it is quite likely that the warehouse building provides a suitable place to load and unload a vehicle and provide ample room to store entertainment related equipment and this was not vacant for the period concerned."

Mr Rhys Thomas stated: “I am not satisfied that the site has been properly entered on to the register, it is therefore not vacant for the purposes of the Act.” 

The inspector stated that Mr Crosbie said that the site “is in constant use ancillary to the Vicar Street music venue. This is a rational explanation for the use of the building whilst concerts and performance are being carried out.

“As concerts and performances occur throughout the year, it is very likely the building was in constant use for the period concerned, 2019. I see no reason to apply the charge in this instance and the site should be removed from the register."

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