Bid to build 500 Dublin housing units to be reconsidered

Board and developer expect Raheny project to be subject of further legal action

Protesters against the application by Crekav Trading GP Ltd to build 536 residential units on the St Paul’s playing fields at St Anne’s Park, Raheny, Dublin, pictured in January 2018. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Protesters against the application by Crekav Trading GP Ltd to build 536 residential units on the St Paul’s playing fields at St Anne’s Park, Raheny, Dublin, pictured in January 2018. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

A High Court judge has remitted a controversial planning application for a development of 500 housing units in north Dublin to An Bord Pleanála for fresh consideration.

Crekav Trading, part of developer Marlet, previously got the go-ahead from the planning board to build 104 houses and 432 apartments on lands in Raheny used as six playing pitches by St Paul’s College.

The planning application was made by the developer directly to the Board under a fast-track process for large housing projects bypassing the local authority. The board later accepted it had made an error in its approval decision with the effect it must be quashed.

In a judgment on Tuesday, Mr Justice David Barniville said it was appropriate to remit the application to the board. The judge said failure to remit would lead to “an unnecessary and disproportionate delay in finalising the statutory process” and would be “unnecessarily and disproportionately onerous” on the developer.

Lawyers for the board, supported by the developer, said no matter what decision it arrives at, new legal proceedings will be brought

He was remitting it no further back in the process than was necessary to undo the consequences of the invalidity already conceded by the board, he added.

Noting the narrow grounds of the board’s concession the decision should be quashed, the judge added he had not made any determination on other grounds raised by the applicants in their proceedings over the permission.

Future decision

Should proceedings be brought over any future decision by the board on the planning application, the applicants could raise any of these grounds, he said. The board sought remittal but several objectors argued a fresh application to the board is required.

The applicants were Clonres CLG, which represents residents from the Clontarf area; environmental campaigner Peter Sweetman; and John Conway and the Louth Environmental Group. They argued the planning approval decision was fundamentally flawed.

The objectors also brought proceedings against the State and the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in respect of the decision. The developers were notice parties.

The objectors opposed remittal on grounds including the board’s decision was so flawed the result of remittal would inevitably result in new legal actions. The process in relation to the proposed development should start from the beginning, they said.

Lawyers for the board, supported by the developer, said no matter what decision it arrives at, new legal proceedings will be brought.

The lands at issue were formerly owned by the Vincentian Fathers, trustees of the all-boys secondary school St Paul’s College. Local sports club have also used the pitches.