Cork residents seek quashing of permission for student accommodation project

Development at Orchard Road would consist of 30 apartments

The residents claim the board’s decision is flawed and breached fair procedures. Photograph: iStock

The residents claim the board’s decision is flawed and breached fair procedures. Photograph: iStock

 

Local residents have brought a challenge over An Bord Pleanála’s permission for a 216-bed student accommodation development in Cork city.

The action has been brought by an association representing residents opposed to the demolition of an existing structure and construction of the student housing development, consisting of 30 apartments, at Orchard Road in Cork.

The proposed five-storey block is located near the main campus of University College Cork.

The case by the Orchard Road and Grove Planning and Environmental Protection Group is against the board; the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage; and Ireland and the Attorney General.

The association claims the board’s decision is flawed and breached fair procedures. The board, it claims, failed to carry out a proper assessment of the development’s potential impact on protected natura sites in the area.

It also claims the board was not entitled to find the proposed development would only account for a minimal loading on a local wastewater treatment plant.

Consultation

Other claims include that the pre-planning consultation process provided by the State for such strategic developments is incompatible with EU directives of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) because public participation in the process is excluded.

Further claims include that the development contravenes the Cork City Development Plan.

The association, represented by Neil Steen SC and Jon Kenny BL, wants the court to quash the board’s permission of October 19th.

It also seeks a declaration the pre-planning consultation procedures in the 2000 Planning and Development Act, and the 2016 Residential Tenancies Act are invalid and incompatible with EU directive on EIAs.

The developer, Denis O’Brien Developments Cork Ltd, is a notice party to the proceedings.

On Thursday, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys, who manages the High Court’s strategic infrastructure development and commercial planning list, granted leave to bring the action and adjourned it to next month for case management directions.