Log in | Register

Judge rules that major Irish fast-track decision should not be delayed  

Words: Roger Milne
Housing / Shutterstock_141093886

A High Court judge has rejected a bid by residents to hold up a decision from An Bórd Pleanála over one of the biggest schemes dealt with under Ireland's fast-track planning regime for major housing projects.

An Bórd Pleanála is poised to announce its determination of developer Cairn Homes Properties Ltd’s proposal for a development of 614 new homes on former RTÉ land at Donnybrook in Dublin 4.

Residents fighting the scheme are due in court later this year, when they will challenge the board’s designation of the proposed development as strategic housing under the Strategic Housing Act 2016 (SHA).

Their case includes queries about the validity of certain steps taken by the bord in the process leading to the SHA designation.

They also say that provisions of the 2016 act breach their rights under Irish Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights.

They have just been in court to try to ‘stay’ a decision by An Bórd Pleanála until after their substantive case is heard in November. However, the judge refused their bid.

Mr Justice McDonald said the Oireachtas clearly intended applications for permission for strategic housing development as defined should be pursued with urgency with a view to addressing the housing and homelessness crisis.

Whether the 2016 act is the appropriate way to do that was for the Oireachtas, not the court, to decide, he added.

Having balanced the various factors, the judge concluded that the greatest risk of injustice lay in granting the stay and he refused it.

In their action, the residents say the 611 apartments in nine blocks up to 10 storeys high as well as three townhouses, two cafés, one childcare facility and a private members club and gym constitute development of a scale and density far in excess of what is permitted under the Dublin City Development Plan and “totally out of keeping” with an area consisting of low-rise Victorian or Edwardian-type houses.

Image credit | Shutterstock