Permission for 99 buy-to-let apartments in Dublin is challenged in High Court

Judicial review proceedings taken against An Bord Pleanála over Beaumont scheme

A High Court challenge has been brought against An Bord Pleanála's decision to grant planning permission for the building of 99 buy-to-let apartments in Beaumont in Dublin.

Earlier this year the board granted Urban Life (BMD) Ltd permission to construct 66 one-bed, 30 two-bed and three three-bed apartments in two six-storey buildings on a site at Beaumont Road, Ellenfield Road, Beaumont Grove and Grace Park Court in Beaumont, Dublin 9.

The High Court action has been taken by Hugh Rafferty from Beaumont Road in Dublin 9, whose property adjoins the site of the proposed development.

Mr Rafferty claims that the board’s decision to grant permission should be set aside on grounds including that its interpretation and application of building height guidelines are wrong.


He argues that the board also failed to ensure that the height of the proposed development was designed in such a way to maximise access to natural daylight.

It is further argued that the board failed to have any adequate regard for national sustainability guidelines regarding issues including sustainable development, and the reduction of energy demand.

Building heights guidelines

Represented by Alan Doyle Bl, instructed by Fred Logue Solicitors, Mr Rafferty has also challenged the constitutionality of 2018 building heights guidelines for planning authorities, which were updated in 2020.

It is claimed that the effect of the guidelines allows the Minister for Housing to formulate binding policy that the Minister is not empowered by the Constitution or the 2000 Planning and Development Act to do.

Such a binding policy can only be created by legislation, it is claimed. It is also submitted that the board erred in finding that the proposed development was of strategic national importance and that there was no likelihood of it having significant effects on the environment.

The board further erred in its determination that the proposed development did not require to be the subject of an environmental impact assessment (EIA), it is claimed.

The board gave the proposed development the green light after Dublin City Council had previously refused planning permission, the High Court also heard.

Review proceedings

In judicial review proceedings against the board, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Ireland and the Attorney General, Mr Rafferty seeks various orders and declarations including an order quashing the planning permission.

He also seeks a declaration that the 2018 Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines for Planning Authorities are invalid and unconstitutional and should be set aside.

The developer Urban Life (BMD) Ltd and Dublin City Council are notice parties to the proceedings.

The matter came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan on Monday, who directed the application for permission to bring the challenge be made in the presence of the respondents.

The case will return before the court in May.