Local resident brings court action against Clontarf apartment scheme

More than 350 objections lodged against €52m build-to-rent proposal

A local resident has initiated a High Court action seeking to overturn permission for the development of 131 build-to-rent apartments in Clontarf, north Dublin.

Martin Stapleton, who lives in a neighbouring property at Seacourt, wants an order quashing the €52 million strategic housing development scheme which received fast-track permission from An Bord Pleanála last December.

Prior to the approval, more than 350 objections were lodged against the plans for the Redcourt site at Seafield Road.

The seeking the court’s permission to bring the action was adjourned to amend papers when it came before Mr Justice Richard Humphreys on Monday.


Mr Stapleton, represented by Alan Doyle BL instructed by Ken Kennedy Solicitors, is challenging the board’s decision on a number of domestic and European law grounds.

Open space

The applicant takes issue with the grant of permission for a development that has allegedly failed to provide the required amount of communal open space as per the requirements of the local development plan.

It is claimed the proposed open space is to be covered by a plastic roof, which is enclosed on four sides by four housing blocks. The result of this is that the communal open space is not open space as prescribed by the development plan, it is alleged.

Also among the core grounds of challenge is a claim the board erred in law in finding there would be adequate public transport capacity to serve the proposed build. It is claimed the board had no evidence before it from Dublin Bus as to capacity on its relevant local services.

Mr Stapleton further points to an alleged failure on the part of the board to correctly interpret and apply a specific planning policy requirement in relation to height limits, as well as other Height Guidelines.

Mr Stapleton will look to ask the court for a stay on the operation of the planning board’s decision pending the conclusion of his proceedings.

Further, he will seek various declarations, including one finding the Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines are invalid, beyond their powers and/or unconstitutional and should be set aside.

The judicial review proceedings are against An Bord Pleanála, Ireland, the Attorney General and the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Developer Savona Ltd and Dublin City Council are notice parties in the action.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is an Irish Times reporter