Court overturns An Bord Pleanála’s rejection of 64-home scheme in Co Kildare

Keshmore Homes should have been given opportunity to make submissions on ‘significant’ change to development plan

A developer has succeeded in its High Court challenge to An Bord Pleanála’s refusal of planning permission for a 64-home scheme in Co Kildare.

Ms Justice Siobhán Phelan proposed making an order overturning the planning board’s decision to reject Keshmore Homes Ltd’s planning application for housing at a site in Kildare town.

The judge agreed with Keshmore, represented by Neil Steen SC, that the adoption of a variation to the Kildare County Development Plan was “significant” and “clearly material” to the refusal decision.

While the board has a discretion under the Planning and Development Act of 2000 as to giving an applicant the opportunity to make further submissions, the judge said this discretion “falls to be exercised fairly”.


Fair procedures required that the Athy-based developer would be afforded an opportunity to make submissions on why permission should be granted notwithstanding that it would materially contravene the variation of the plan, she said.

The proposed development of houses and eight apartments in a single two-storey block was refused by Kildare County Council in February 2020. Keshmore appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

The local council made the variation to the development plan several months after Keshmore submitted its appeal, said the judge. It revised downwards the target number of dwellings for Kildare town from 1,527 to 283.

This change had “major implications” for the development of Keshmore’s lands as it had the effect of amending the development plan’s core strategy, Ms Justice Phelan said.

She proposed making an order quashing the board’s refusal.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is an Irish Times reporter