High Court overturns permission for 167 homes in Duleek

Local residents claimed An Bord Pleanála had no jurisdiction to grant permission

An Bord Pleanála has consented to a High Court order overturning its permission for construction of a development of 167 housing units in Duleek, Co Meath.

The permission was challenged in judicial review proceedings brought against the board by Stoneyford Green Residents Association, of Stoneyford Green, Duleek, represented by John Kenny BL, instructed by solicitor Fred Logue.

The case had not gone to hearing when the board indicated it would consent to its August 2020 permission, granted under legislation for the fast-tracking of planning applications deemed strategic housing, being quashed.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys made that order this week on consent of both sides.


The permission concerned a proposed development by Davy Target Investments ICAV of 167 residential units, a childcare facility and associated works at the Commons, Steeples Road, Duleek.

The board conceded the case on the basis of the only legal ground advanced by the residents — that the permission was invalid because the planning application did not comply with a mandatory requirement of the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 concerning advertisement of applications involving material contravention of a development plan.

The board had concluded in its permission decision the development involved a material contravention of the Meath County Development Plan 2013-2019 not related to zoning of the lands but permission should still be granted.

The material contravention of the plan related to the density of the proposed development.

No jurisdiction

The residents claimed the board had no jurisdiction to grant permission because the developer had not complied with the mandatory requirement to publicly state, in the newspaper notice concerning the proposed development, that it materially contravened the development plan other than regards zoning and why, notwithstanding that, permission should be granted.

The developer appeared to have submitted, at the pre-application stage, that the proposed development complied with the objectives and standards of the development plan for the purposes of pre-application consultation under the 2016 Act and had not submitted a statement of material contravention with its application, they said.

In this case, the developer was of the view the proposed development did not materially contravene the development plan, it was claimed.

In circumstances where the board concluded the developer’s view was erroneous, the board was obliged to refuse permission or had no jurisdiction to grant permission when the public concerned was not on notice of the material contravention, the residents argued.

The effect was a breach of the rights of the applicant and of the public to effective participation in the planning process, it was claimed.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times