LOUTH County Council are set to pursue outstanding development levies of e432,887 owed to them by Dundalk FC for the construction of the Youth Development Centre at Oriel Park through the courts, The Dundalk Democrat can reveal.
The issue of the outstanding fees has caused much unrest among supporters of the Carrick Road outfit in the past week after the debt was discovered following two proposals to take over the running of the club from current owner Gerry Matthews.
Matthews built the YDC with a e250,000 Sports Capital Grant and funding raised from his own personal wealth and investors.
He had been hoping to secure a major grant of between e4.5m and e6m for the project to the Capital Sports Programme but it was abolished.
As a result, he started the project without the levies being made.
Matthews claimed at a supporters meeting on Friday that it was not unusual for developments such as the Youth Development Centre to proceed without levies being paid.
He said he had no correspondence with the council but insisted the outstanding money would be paid. He did admit, however, that he would look to renegotiate the figure.
The Dundalk Democrat contacted Louth County Council regarding the matter on Monday and while they would not comment on any individual case, they said it was imperative that all levies be paid in full.
A spokesperson said that levies were generally paid as a development progressed but preferably beforehand.
He added: “If these are not paid then a condition of planning has not been met and technically the development is not authorised.”
The council spokesperson said if payments were not met in “some shape or form” the council would proceed down the legal route - something that could take some time. Matthews said on Friday that if the council sought the levies he would either pay them personally or, in an extreme case, knock the building.
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