Appeals likely over rejection of challenges to Dublin Airport runway

High Court rules against Friends of the Irish Environment, which objects to development

Dublin Airport.

Dublin Airport.

 

An appeal is being considered by Friends of the Irish Environment over the High Court’s rejection of its challenge to a new €320m runway at Dublin Airport.

The High Court, in a significant finding in the group’s case, held there is a personal constitutional right to an environment “consistent with the human dignity and well-being of citizens at large”.

The environmental group was not entitled to participate in the decision extending permission for the runway and had failed to establish any disproportionate interference with that right, Mr Justice Max Barrett also held.

The judge also last month rejected two other separate challenges to the planned runway, both involving local residents.

All three challenges arose from Fingal County Council’s decision to extend the duration of planning permission granted to the Dublin Airport Authority to construct a second runway at the airport.

When the cases returned before the judge on Tuesday, lawyers representing 22 individual residents - most with addresses at Kilreesk Lane, St Margaret’s, Co Dublin - said they will seek to appeal the dismissal of their arguments, including the Council failed to consider or address their concerns about its effect on their homes and lands.

The group will apply later this month to Mr Justice Barrett for permission to have its appeal heard by the Court of Appeal.

The second challenge involved St Margaret’s Concerned Residents Group, who have yet to inform the court if they intend to appeal its dismissal of their claim certain pre-construction works on the proposed new runway amounted to unauthorised development.

In the third case, counsel for Friends of the Irish Environment said they provisionally, pending confirmation from the group, are seeking to appeal the rejection of their claims the new runway would result in additional greenhouse gas emissions and increase the pace of climate change.

Lawyers for the State said, if the group goes ahead with an appeal, the State may seek to appeal certain aspects of the High Court’s decision in that case.