The developer behind the plan to transform the former ferry terminal in Dún Laoghaire Harbour into one of Europe’s largest technology campuses has pulled out of the project after discovering that owner of the building had failed to secure the necessary foreshore licence to lease the building.

Philip Gannon secured planning permission two months ago to bring the ferry terminal building back to life as a 7000sqm Harbour Innovation Campus where leading global companies would innovate and collaborate with start-ups, SMEs, academic institutions and state enterprise agencies to develop and apply advances in technology.

However, Mr Gannon has terminated his lease on the ferry terminal building after it emerged that the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, which earlier this month moved under the control of Dún Laoghaire County Council (DLRCC), had failed to secure a foreshore licence to lease the building despite advertising it for lease two years ago.

The move comes after Mr Gannon had spent more than 12 months negotiating the lease, and experienced long delays waiting for BER certs and approval for operating plans from DLRCC in addition to long delays with the planning process.

Mr Gannon said: “It is very disappointing to be told that seven weeks after receiving planning permission, the landlord does not actually have any legal right to lease the building.

“You would think that Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company would have taken care of such basic requirements before advertising the property in the first place. When I was told that the Chief Executive of DLHC was still trying to obtain the foreshore license, I decided to cut my losses and pull the plug on Dun Laoghaire. I am now looking at other buildings in and around Dublin.”

The Harbour Innovation Campus was seen as anopportunity to attract the world’s best-known technology companies to Dún Laoghaire and was expected to support 1,000 jobs and bring additional annual of around €6 million per year to Dún Laoghaire town.

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