Local resident brings court action against Howth apartment scheme

Action is aimed at quashing fast-tracked permission for more than 100 apartments

At the High Court on Monday, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys adjourned until next week the appellant’s application for permission to bring his action

At the High Court on Monday, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys adjourned until next week the appellant’s application for permission to bring his action

 

A local resident has initiated a High Court action aimed at quashing fast-tracked planning permission for more than 100 apartments in Howth, Dublin.

The challenge is being brought against An Bord Pleanála and others by Alan Downey, of Howth Road, Howth, who lives close to the proposed residential scheme in Deer Park.

The go-ahead for the strategic infrastructure development in September came in spite of a recommendation from Fingal County Council to refuse planning permission.

Mr Downey, represented by Alan Doyle, instructed by Ken Kennedy solicitors, claims An Bord Pleanála’s decision is invalid because it erred in law in conducting an appropriate assessment and by failing to comply with an article of the habitats directive.

There is a “gap” in the board’s findings, he claims, in that the natural impact statement fails to address the potential impact of a possible pollution event from the proposed development to Baldoyle bay, which is a special area of conservation. Mitigation measures proposed are “not genuinely preventive” or have been left over to be finalised in a management plan that does not address the alleged risk to groundwater, he claims.

Further among the core grounds of challenge is that the board failed to identify that its decision allegedly involved several material contraventions of the Fingal development plan.

Congestion

It is alleged that the board further failed to consider relevant material relating to the impact the proposed build would have on proper planning and sustainable development and the environment. The applicant claims the board authorised a development that would add to congestion at Sutton Cross, despite concluding that the junction is above capacity.

Further, he alleges that the decision was reached based on an unevidenced assertion that there were plans to increase capacity on the Dart line.

As well as an order overturning the planning permission, Mr Downey also seeks a declaration from the court that the State has failed to adequately guarantee and defend his right to bring proceedings at a cost that is not prohibitively expensive and/or has failed to ensure his right to effective judicial protection.

He seeks a further order declaring on conclusion of proceedings that the State parties are required to pay his costs and any costs he may be ordered to pay to other respondents or notice parties, or such a sum necessary to ensure the costs borne by him are not prohibitively expensive.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys adjourned on Monday until next week Mr Downey’s application for permission to bring his action against An Bord Pleanála, Fingal County Council, The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Ireland and the Attorney General. Developer GLL PRS Holdco Ltd is a notice party.