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Challenge to permission for shared living development in Blanchardstown

Project would involve demolition of Brady’s pub and restaurant on Old Navan Road

Mr O’Lone secured permission ex parte from the High Court’s Mr Justice Richard Humphreys to bring proceedings against An Bord Pleanála and the State

A local resident has taken a legal challenge aimed at overturning planning permission for a shared living development with 210 bed spaces on the Old Navan Road in Dublin.

Barry O’Lone is challenging An Bord Pleanála’s permission for a strategic housing development involving the demolition of Brady’s pub and restaurant and construction of shared living residential accommodation on the site at Old Navan Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

Represented by Esmonde Keane SC and John Kenny, Mr O’Lone secured permission ex parte (one side only represented) from the High Court’s Mr Justice Richard Humphreys on Monday to bring the proceedings against the board and the State.

The developer, Bartra Property (Castleknock) Ltd, is a notice party.

The matter was returned to next week, and a hearing date will be fixed at a later stage. The judge granted liberty to apply in relation to a possible application for a stay on any tree-felling works.

A core ground of the challenge is the claim that the development comprises a material contravention of the Fingal County Development Plan by materially breaching the zoning providing for protection of residential amenity.

It is claimed the development’s proposed height is up to five storeys, and the site is surrounded on three sides by established one- and two-storey houses in a “clear suburban area” and not an “established urban area”.

Other grounds of challenge include that the board’s permission of December last was granted in breach of requirements of the habitats, environmental impact assessment and/or strategic environmental assessment directives.

It is claimed the board failed to have any or any adequate regard for protection of bat fauna.

The board’s appropriate assessment screening was, it is further claimed, invalid because it relied on a false assertion there was no hydrological connectivity from the site to the river Tolka, when there is.

Considerations

It is alleged the board failed to take into account relevant considerations relating to proper planning and sustainable development as the shared living development has no adequate social distancing in the context of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr O’Lone, a student of Old Navan Road, Castleknock, says in an affidavit he lives with his family almost directly across the road from the proposed development.

He claims the residential amenity and value of their home will be severely and adversely affected by the development. It is proposed, in a “long established and quiet suburban area” comprised almost exclusively of one- and two-storey houses, to impose a high density unit with just two car parking spaces.

He says the proposed development will cause severe strain on the area, and will result in car parking in the area being swamped by residents of, and visitors to, the development.

Mr O’Lone previously challenged a permission by the board in relation to the same site, and an order setting aside that earlier permission was made on consent.