Court refuses leave to appeal in airport runway challenge

No ‘exceptional public importance’ raised in north Dublin residents’ request for appeal

Dublin Airport operator DAA is proposing to build a new  3,110-metre runway on 261 hectares.

Dublin Airport operator DAA is proposing to build a new 3,110-metre runway on 261 hectares.

 

A number of north Dublin residents have been refused permission to appeal against the rejection of their legal challenge to plans for a new €320 million runway at Dublin Airport.

In the High Court last November, Mr Justice Max Barrett dismissed three separate actions concerning the proposed development of a 3,110-metre runway, located on 261 hectares in townlands north and north west of the existing airport terminals.

On Wednesday Mr Justice Barrett, while expressing sympathy for the residents and “respect for their fighting spirit”, said they had not raised points of “exceptional public importance” necessary for the court to grant permission for appeal.

The challenges arose over Fingal County Council’s decision to extend the period of planning permission granted to airport operator DAA to construct a second runway.

Various parties including DAA have deemed the proposed runway vital to proposals to turn the airport into an international hub.

Lawyers representing 22 residents involved in one of the challenges sought permission on Wednesday to appeal the rejection of their case. The residents — most with addresses at Kilreesk Lane, St Margaret’s, had argued the development was illegal and that the council had failed to consider or address their concerns about its effect on their homes and lands.

Costs

Their proceedings were against the council and the State, with DAA and Ryanair as notice parties.

Should they wish to pursue their case further, the residents can apply to the Supreme Court to hear an appeal.

Separately on Wednesday, the judge ruled the St Margaret’s Concerned Residents Group, who also brought an unsuccessful challenge over the proposed runway, and DAA, would have to pay their own costs in that case.

The group had claimed certain pre-construction works carried out in December 2016 on the proposed new runway by DAA amounted to unauthorised development.

The third challenge over the proposed new runway was brought by Friends of the Irish Environment. It did not seek to appeal the High Court’s dismissal of its arguments that the proposed runway would result in additional greenhouse gas emissions which would hasten the pace of climate change.

In his decision on that case, the judge accepted the group’s argument there was a constitutional right to an environment but held it did not arise in the case because the group was not entitled to participate in the decision extending permission for the runway.