€ 30m Dublin hotel development delayed by alleyway litigation, court said

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Promoters for a € 30million hotel in Dublin city center say the project is delayed due to a dispute over an alley between the hotel and a Chinese restaurant, the commercial court has learned.

Cathedral Leisure Ltd hopes to begin work on the new four-star hotel on the former Boland’s Bakery site in Capel Street / Mary Street Little early next year.

Cathedral says this plan could be delayed by a claim by the owners of 27 Little Mary Street, Fergus McCabe and Brian Stynes, both of Ballyroan Crescent, Rathfarnham, Dublin.

The two men own number 27 which is used as a Bullet Duck and Dumplings restaurant and is operated by Sisu Entertainment and Fainne Entertainment. Xiao Hua Wen is a director of these companies and is a defendant in action with companies and owners.

Mr McCabe and Mr Stynes ​​say a door to the driveway has been in place since 1991, has been accessed over the years by people entering and exiting from the back of number 27 and is part of the Authorization granted to the premises of the restaurant to prevent a risk of fire. The cathedral does not have the right to block the door and that amounts to an intrusion, they say.

On Monday, judge David Barniville admitted the case to the accelerated commercial court at the request of the Cathedral. Counsel for Me McCabe and Me Stynes ​​objected to it for delay in instituting proceedings and lack of urgency. The other three defendants did not appear.

Emergency exit

The judge was told that the cathedral injunction proceedings had not taken place after the restaurant operators confirmed that they did not need to use the aisle as an emergency exit.

The judge was convinced that the question of its use as an emergency exit had been sufficiently ventilated. in the injunction proceedings and was different from what is now claimed, an assertion by the owners of a right of way down the lane.

The injunction application did not deprive Cathedral of its right to bring this proceeding. He approved instructions on how the case should go and said she could return in December.

In an affidavit requesting listing, Cathedral Group CFO James Sinton said the company bought the site for $ 4.4 million in 2017. The title documentation does not prove any rights. of passage or easement as the owners claim between the hotel and the restaurant building, he said.

In June 2018, a door niche that had been fully barricaded had been opened and a door had been installed.

The hotel site property vendors, who were still in the building pending the hotel construction, confirmed that no one had sought consent for the opening. He was barricaded again, Sinton said.

In August 2019, it was reopened and appeared to provide access to the restaurant’s kitchen. It was barricaded again by the cathedral with concrete blocks.

Last April, the blocks had been demolished and a wooden door installed with an exhaust air fan inserted inside. Stickers have been put on the door saying “emergency exit, stay away”.

One of the owners, Mr McCabe, confirmed that he was the one who tore down the wall and affixed the stickers, Mr Sinton said.

An injunction procedure was initiated which ultimately did not take place because the restaurateur confirmed that it had never been used as an emergency exit and did not need it for this purpose.

The owners however claim a right of passage through the alley, which the cathedral denies, and says it is illegal interference and trespassing on its property.

Mr Sinton said this claim could have a significant development impact and the entire hotel design may need to be overhauled if such a right exists.

While there are valid rights of way regarding other properties that are hosted within the hotel development, the restaurant owners’ claims are fully contested, he said.

It is a matter of commercial urgency that this be determined as soon as possible as it could have an impact on the financing of the project, he said.


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