Developer challenges Kildare Council decision to cut housing targets

Ardstone has outstanding planning permissions for developments in county

The judge granted leave to bring  judicial review proceedings and granted a stay on the variation of the housing targets. Photograph: iStock

The judge granted leave to bring judicial review proceedings and granted a stay on the variation of the housing targets. Photograph: iStock

 

A developer has launched a High Court challenge to a decision of Kildare County Council to slash housing targets for the county.

According to a variation on the Kildare County Development Plan adopted last month, housing targets across the county have been reduced by 81 per cent, with new dwellings targets in Naas down from 4,842 units to the new target of 898 and Maynooth down from a projected 3,315 units to 675, the High Court has heard.

Ardstone Residential Partners Fund ICAV, with offices at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin and Ardstone Homes Ltd of Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, on Friday got leave from the High Court to mount the legal challenge.

Ms Justice Mary Rose Gearty also granted a stay on the implementation of the housing targets variation on the Kildare County Development Plan 2017-2023 until the hearing of the action.

In the proceedings, Ardstone is seeking an order quashing the decision of Kildare County Council on June 9th last to adopt the variation on housing targets which sees a reduction of overall target housing completions from growth of 32,497 units to just 6,023 units.

Counsel for Ardstone, Neil Steen SC, told the court the variation allows for a “blanket reduction” and the uncertainty is a major problem, with substantial investment already made in sites and in some cases planning applications filed.

He said it was Ardstone’s case that there was no consideration of the impact of the reduction on infrastructure such as roads, schools and waste water.

Ardstone also claims the council was free to delay its review of the County Plan and that the council allegedly failed to give a reason for rejecting a submission made by Ardstone which had asked it to consider the impact on the investment already made in social and physical infrastructure and the planned future investment in that area.

It is further claimed the council made the variation without any regard to a relevant consideration of proper planning and sustainable development.

Planning permission

Ardstone has an extant planning permission for 366 units in Clane which was granted last year and a fresh application for strategic housing involving 361 units for the town which, under the variation, would be allowed 145 dwellings, reduced from 780 units.

Ardstone, the High Court heard, also has a planning application in Celbridge and other developers also have applications pending in the county.

In its submission to the council, Ardstone had argued the effect of the variation “will be to significantly constrain house building in the Kildare area” over the remaining three years life of the Country Development Plan.

Ms Justice Gearty granted leave to bring the judicial review proceedings and granted the stay. Kildare County Council, she said, can come back to court regarding the stay providing it gives 48 hours notice to Ardstone.

The case will come back before the court on September 15th.