Property Law and Conveyancing

High Court overturns planning permission for strategic housing development

By October 11, 2022 No Comments
strategic housing development

Environmental Trust Ireland has succeeded in its application to quash planning permission granted to a 326-bed student facility outside Limerick city.

Fast-tracked planning decision

Cloncaragh Investments Ltd was granted planning permission for four to six storey apartments, which was expected to include 30 build to let apartments and 70 student apartments. The development received fast-tracked approval from An Bord Pleanála last year under the state’s strategic housing development procedures. The development had been planned for a site just outside Limerick city, which currently contains disused buildings.

This is not the first time a planning application by the same company for the same site has got into difficulty. It was refused by An Bord Pleanála because the Board was not satisfied that nearby protected areas were properly safeguarded. In the current application, the Board was satisfied that appropriate mitigating measures had been taken to protect the nearby protected areas.

Decision quashed  

Environmental Trust Ireland (ETI) challenged the recent grant of planning permission at the High Court. ETI claimed that the decision did not properly consider the risks to the nearby protected areas including the risks of cement entering the groundwater. ETI also claimed that the Board had failed to send its legal submissions on to the council within the time limit. This resulted in those submissions not being considered by the council before preparing its report for the Board.

Mr Justice Holland delivered judgment in the matter. The Judge decided to quash the decision on one ground, the failure to send the 100-page submissions to the council. The judge declined to find for the ETI on the other points, including the alleged failure to properly consider the risks to the nearby protected areas. The Judge stated that the ETI did not meet the threshold to establish that a risk existed of cement leaking into groundwater.

The planning application will revert to An Bord Pleanála for fresh consideration of the planning application.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*

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