July 12, 2017, 9:05 p.m.
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A judge has urged Dublin City Council and the operators of a new bar and restaurant in Temple Bar to go to mediation in a row over concerns about public safety under the building regulations.
The council is seeking a High Court order to close the first floor Roberta’s restaurant, part of Dollard House, between Wellington Quay and Essex Street, until the requirements of the regulations are met to eliminate safety risks.
These require the owner/operators obtaining a regularised fire certificate for the restaurant, a disability access certificate, and a valid certificate of compliance on completion of works.
Workman’s Club Ltd, which has leased the premises, and Keywell, owner of the building, deny any safety risk and say they are implementing measures to address the council’s concerns.
They also say a liquor licence was granted for Roberta’s which included fire safety approval on the basis certain measures are taken. A similar application is pending before the licensing court in relation to the ground floor and basement areas.
Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, who last week gave the council permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on the defendants, agreed on Wednesday to the defendants’ request to adjourn the matter to late July to allow them time to reply to certain new claims made by the council.
There seemed to be no good reason why the parties should not try and resolve the dispute through mediation, the judge said. The case could take a long time to be dealt with if it went to a full hearing, he said.
He also directed the council to provide the defendants with a list of specified measures which it says are required.
David Holland SC, for the defendants, said the adjournment may also facilitate mediation, which had been offered on Tuesday to the council by his clients.
Stephen Dodd, for the council, disagreed it would benefit from mediation. While certain measures had been carried out, the council was not satisfied the concerns had been properly addressed and his side could not definitively say at this stage there was no fire risk, he said.
Pat Nestor, a senior building control officer with the council, had said in a recent affidavit, that in his 15 years in building control, the non-compliance with the regulation in this case was “extraordinary and unprecedented”, Mr Dodd said.
Mr Justice Noonan said it would be unfair to deal with the case without giving the defendants an opportunity to respond to the council’s 60-paragraph affidavit setting out its concerns and he would adjourn the matter.