Planning approval for more than 1,400 new homes in south Dublin to be quashed

An Bord Pleanála concedes court cases relating to developments in Milltown, Blackrock and Killiney linked to work of former deputy chairman Paul Hyde

An artist’s impression of the proposed plan for the 493-unit €200m development at Temple Hill, Blackrock, Co Dublin

Planning approval for more than 1,400 new homes in south Dublin is set to be quashed after An Bord Pleanála conceded three court cases linked to the work of its former deputy chairman, Paul Hyde.

The planning authority is no longer contesting judicial review cases that were taken against fast-track approval it gave for large apartment schemes in Killiney, Blackrock and Milltown. ABP’s move “followed the receipt and consideration by An Bord Pleanála of legal advice from its legal agents”, the body said in response to questions.

“This responds to amended grounds lodged in those cases that the involvement of a board member in the decision-making in the cases raised questions of objective bias due to a familial connection between that board member and a person involved in the planning application process.”

Mr Hyde was chairman of the ABP division in charge of fast-track housing before his resignation in July.


When controversy erupted over his work in the spring, questions were raised about cases before ABP in which his brother Stefan Hyde, a fire-safety expert, had an involvement. These included some cases in which Stefan Hyde was a consultant for ABP and others in which fast-track applications included documentation from Stefan Hyde.

Paul Hyde has always denied any wrongdoing when facing claims of impropriety in his work.

ABP’s move to concede the Killiney and Blackrock cases emerged in court on Monday but the planning authority had told case participants of its decisions last week. The participants in the Milltown action were also notified last week.

In a separate development on Monday, the Department of Housing received formal notification from the Director of Public Prosecutions of its decision to instigate a criminal prosecution against Paul Hyde at Dublin District Court. He is facing charges under the Planning and Development Act in relation to allegations that he gave false particulars to ABP.

The department said: “We are aware that proceedings have been instituted against Mr Hyde. The DPP has requested that the report by Mr Remy Farrell SC not be published or otherwise released until such a time as the proceedings have been concluded.”

Asked whether the Killiney, Blackrock and Milltown decisions were linked to matters before prosecutors, An Bord Pleanála said: “The decision on the concessions was made last week and was not related in any shape or form to the process before the DPP.”

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The Killiney application was for 248 apartments and seven houses. The Blackrock application was for 493 apartments at Temple Hill, Monkstown. The Milltown application was for 671 build-to-rent apartments at Milltown Park, Sandford Road, Dublin 6.

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The planning authority also conceded three other cases not linked to Mr Hyde: a fast-track project for 333 homes in Clane, Co Kildare; a Co Cork wind farm; and a primary care centre and commercial/retail development in Blarney, Co Cork.

ABP said: “It is the long-standing position of An Bord Pleanála that where it receives and considers legal advice to concede any judicial review case and it accepts that advice that it will then immediately advise the parties to the case and the court of that and get the matter concluded without the necessity for a contested court hearing thus saving court time and minimising legal costs for all involved.”

Arthur Beesley

Arthur Beesley

Arthur Beesley is Current Affairs Editor of The Irish Times