New runway will make homes uninhabitable, residents claim

Actions against Dublin Airport’s €320m plan to be fast-tracked by Commercial Court

Two actions by local residents over a decision extending planning permission for development of a new €320 million runway at Dublin Airport are to be fast-tracked by the Commercial Court.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern, who agreed the proceedings were urgent, fixed the cases for hearing on October 3rd.

One challenge is by 22 individual residents – most with addresses at Kilreesk Lane, St Margaret's, Co Dublin – against Fingal County Council and the State, with DAA plc as a notice party.

The second case is by the St Margaret's Concerned Residents Group – of which the individual residents are members – against the DAA and it seeks injunctions under the Planning and Development Act 2000.


The proceedings arise from Fingal County Council’s decision of March 7th last to extend a planning permission for development of the new 3,110m runway. The five-year extension was sought by the DAA because an August 2007 permission for the development is due to expire in August 2017.

The proposed development will be located on 261 hectares in townlands north and northwest of the airport terminal building.

The residents say An Bord Pleanála had previously identified that the development makes their houses uninhabitable and therefore of no significant value.

Compulsory acquisition

They claim the council’s decision amounts to compulsory acquisition of their properties by creating a situation that made their houses uninhabitable if they were not sold but which also provided for a compensation scheme that would not permit replacement of their houses on a like-for-like basis.

They allege the development is illegal and the council failed to consider or address their concerns about its effect on their homes and lands.

They say the council informed them the planning legislation does not provide for the making of observations in relation to applications for extension of duration of a planning permission.

The application to have the cases fast-tracked was made by Brian Kennedy SC, for the DAA, who argued the matter was suitable for the Commercial Court for reasons including it involved a €320 million infrastructural development of national importance. Denis McDonald SC, for the State, supported the fast-track application.

John Rogers SC, for St Margaret’s Concerned Residents, opposed the case being admitted to the Commercial Court. While his side was anxious to have its case heard urgently, it was likely to get a hearing in the non-jury list in Cork in July, which would be earlier than the October date, he said.

Mr Justice McGovern said, while he had concerns about the number of planning matters coming before the Commercial Court and was aware one of these cases also raised constitutional issues, he considered they should be transferred. He fixed a hearing date in October before which he will hear submissions concerning case management.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times