A legal action by local residents aimed at overturning An Bord Pleanála’s permission for a €30 million co-living development on Dublin’s North Great George’s Street is to be fast-tracked.
The case by North Great George’s Street Preservation Society concerns the board’s permission for the 132-unit development at North Great George’s Street and Hill Street was granted, with 17 conditions attached, in June, 2020 to Hillstreet Limited Partnership.
Last November, the Society sought permission to have the board’s decision judicially reviewed and the case has been mentioned before the courts on a number of occasions since.
On Monday, Hillstreet, represented by Jarlath Fitzsimons SC, applied to have the matter admitted to the fast-track Commercial Court. Counsel said there was “a commercial urgency” to the matter and his client has already spent some €5 million on the development, which will cost more than €30 million and range from three to seven storeys in height.
The developer claims the delay in being able to start works will have financial implications for it and result in an increase in costs. Counsel said it is envisaged the leave application, and the full action, will be heard by the court at the same time in a ‘telescoped hearing’.
There was no objection to the application to fast-track the case from either the Society or the board. Mr Justice David Barniville was satisfied the matter should be admitted to the list. In its proceedings against the board, the Society claims the decision to grant permission was flawed and should be set aside for a number of reasons.
The Society claims the area is one of historical architectural importance and several buildings near the site of the proposed development are protected structures.
It claims the board’s finding that the proposed development would not adversely affect or seriously injure the street’s character and heritage is unreasonable and contrary to common sense.
It also claims the board failed to carry out a proper or preliminary screening of the proposed development for the purpose of carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment.
The matter will be next mentioned before the court in May.