Wicklow residents seek judicial review of contentious development

Delgany locals raise more than €40,000 in weeks ‘such is strength of feeling’ over scheme

Residents of Delgany, Co Wicklow, have applied to the High Court for a judicial review of a Bord Pleanála decision approving a strategic housing development (SHD) in the village.

The application for a review comes as the number of An Bord Pleanála decisions challenged by third parties in the High Court has more than doubled in the last three years. High Court review challenges to planning board decisions in 2018 hit 41 and rose to 83 last year.

Delgany resident Aileen Lennon, one of several people from the north Co Wicklow village, claims the planning board’s decision is flawed. Ms Lennon made submissions on a big development proposed for lands comprising a former Carmelite convent. More than €40,000 to help finance the application for a review was raised from 335 donors in weeks such is the feeling locally about the development, according to Ms Lennon.

She said the planning board’s decision does not demonstrate it adequately considered submissions from some 170 people and bodies including Wicklow County Council on issues including county and local area development-plan targets.


Ms Lennon also claimed the planning board’s decision failed to demonstrate it considered submissions on roads infrastructure, schools and the impact of other SHDs in the area – part of the delivery of more than 2,000 houses under way in the immediate Greystones-Delgany locality.

The High Court has listed April 12th for a hearing in the application for a review.

Scale of the development

At stake is a development by Drumakilla Ltd, under the planning board’s SHD route. The plan is for 232 units on the 6.2 hectare (15.32 acre) site. The proposed scheme includes 96 houses and 136 apartments distributed between two four-storey apartment blocks and five three-storey duplex blocks located between Convent Road and Bellevue Hill.

The houses would consist of 32 two-bedroom units, 44 three-bedroom units and 20 four-bedroom units and comprise a mix of four detached, 36 semi-detached, 56 terraced homes. The proposed apartments, meanwhile, consist of 28 one-bedroom units, 82 two-bedroom units and 26 three-bedroom units.

Given its status as a protected structure, the former Carmelite monastery would be left largely intact, save for the proposed demolition of a modern extension to the rear of the main building. According to the planning application, the developer is proposing to convert the monastery property into a community/cultural facility and creche.

The development also provides for landscaping of private, communal and public open space, removal of walls, provision of 420 car parking spaces and 364 cycle parking spaces.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist