Court refuses to allow Bord Pleanála appeal decision quashing Bearna development

Burkeway Homes had applied for 197-unit residential project on Co Galway site

In his June last decision quashing the approval, Mr Justice Simons found the development would involve two material contraventions of the development plan. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

In his June last decision quashing the approval, Mr Justice Simons found the development would involve two material contraventions of the development plan. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

 

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An Bord Pleanála has been refused leave to appeal a High Court decision quashing approval for a 197-unit strategic infrastructure residential development in Bearna, Co Galway.

The board wanted to appeal on a number of points of law a decision of Mr Justice Garrett Simons earlier this year quashing its permission to Burkeway Homes for the development on an 18 acre site 6.5km from Galway city centre. Burkeway did not participate in the application for leave to appeal.

There is no automatic right to appeal in strategic cases. The rules require that permission for an appeal to the Court of Appeal must first be obtained from the High Court judge.

Mr Justice Simons found none of the points of law raised by the board constituted a matter of exceptional public importance, and which was desirable in the public interest, to allow an appeal.

The board’s permission decision was challenged by Gabriel McGoldrick and Heather Hill Management Co, the managers of the adjoining Heather Hill residential development at the Bearna site. They claimed, among other things, the board did not properly comply with the County Development Plan.

The board opposed them and Burkeway Homes was a notice party.

In his June last decision quashing the approval, Mr Justice Simons found the development would involve two material contraventions of the development plan, including in relation to flood risk assessment of the site.

Refusing leave to appeal on Thursday, the judge said even if the board had succeeded on any of the points of law raised it would not have affected the outcome of his decision.

This was because of the court’s separate finding there had been a failure to comply with flood risk management guidelines.