Developer Liam Carroll and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority discussed a "strategy" for applying for a new planning permission for the Anglo Irish Bank headquarters building, just days after the authority said it would not appeal a High Court decision that it acted outside its powers in granting "fast-track" planning permission for the scheme.
At a meeting on 29 October 2008, Carroll and his lieutenant, David Torpey, discussed "a strategy for applying to" Dublin City Council for the building. The DDDA noted it could 'generally' support the application and noted "it had not formally decided whether it could certify a retention application". It also advised them that a new application "could" require an environmental impact statement and that "Zoe Group should examine this possibility".
The meeting took place at the DDDA offices and the authority also advised Carroll that it was revising its planning application procedures based on the court ruling. The DDDA has fast-track planning powers known as Section 25.
"For robustness Zoe Group may wish to consider reapplying for new Section 25 certificates on certified lands at North Wall Quay," minutes from the meeting state.
The Zoe Group also asked if the docklands development authority could certify a Section 25 application on lands that are subject to appeal to An Bord Pleanála. "DDDA to investigate," the minutes state.
A spokesman for the DDDA said "Zoe Group was trying to understand the implications of the court case and asked for clarification around that issue. The DDDA side simply indicated that they didn't know themselves the answer to the particular question and would therefore have it checked out."
The DDDA had told the Commercial Court five days previously that it wouldn't appeal against the verdict of Ms Justice Mary Findlay Geoghegan. It followed a case taken by rival developer Seán Dunne, who is seeking to have the building torn down. Carroll was later granted a planning permission for the building by Dublin City Council but this was appealed to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) which will have had the case before it for a year this Friday.
Dunne had proposed mediation to Carroll before taking the court case and the DDDA was involved in facilitating this.
The legal action that followed cost the DDDA dearly; its accounts for 2008 show it incurred legal fees of more than €5.4m, much of which related to the Anglo Irish Bank headquarters court dispute.