Challenge to Phibsborough social housing development to be fast tracked

Site is a protected but derelict stucture

Commercial Court was told that any delay in having certainty about the validity of An Bord Pleanála’s decision would have serious commercial and financial implications.

Commercial Court was told that any delay in having certainty about the validity of An Bord Pleanála’s decision would have serious commercial and financial implications.

 

A challenge to a proposed cdevelopment of 18 social housing apartments in Phibsborough, Dublin, is to be dealt with by the fast-track Commercial Court.

Lilacstone Ltd was last December given permission by An Bord Pleanála for the redevelopment of the “Stone Villa” building on the North Circular Road as three apartments, along with a further 15 on the site itself.

Stone Villa is a protected but derelict structure.

Local residents, through a company, Shadowmill Ltd, were granted leave last month by the High Court to seek to quash the permission.

Their grounds of challenge include claims the development will result in the loss of significant tree cover and will disturb the habitat of three species of bat.

It is also claimed the decision contravenes the Dublin City Development Plan and that environmental reports had not been provided in breach of EU directives.

Lilacstone and Dublin City Council are notice parties to that challenge.

On Monday, Mr Justice David Barniville granted Lilacstone’s application to admit the case to the commercial list.

He was told there was no objection to the case being admitted to the fast-track court.

The judge said these were commercial proceedings as the value of the development was some €7.5 million. He was also satisfied there was an urgency in having the proceedings determined expeditiously where a social housing provider had been identified to buy the apartments when completed.

He transferred the proceedings to the court’s Strategic Infrastructure Development list next week.

Lilacstone director, Eamon Shields, said in an affidavit that any delay in having certainty about the validity of An Bord Pleanála’s decision would have serious commercial and financial implications for the company.