Over the last few months, the final stage of the Judicial Review has been playing out. There was a possibility that the planning application could be remitted back to An Bord Pleanala (i.e. the clock rewound back to when the application first went into ABP, for them to re-consider it). Both An Bord Pleanála, and Michael Redmond, objected to this remittal, but Durkan’s argued in favour.
The final judgment of Mr. Justice Garrett Simons was delivered electronically on 1st July 2020:
It is proposed now to make an order as follows. An order of certiorari will be made setting aside An Bord Pleanála’s decision of 15 August 2019 (Case reference: PL06D.304420). The developer’s application to have the matter remitted to An Bord Pleanála is refused.
What this means is that the Judicial Review has been successful against An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission. While the Judgment of 10th March 2020 quashed the decision of ABP, the Judgment of 1st July 2020 means that it will not be remitted to An Bord Pleanala. The Judge described the planning application as “fatally flawed”.
The position is now that the developer Durkan must submit a new planning application for any development on this site. Any new application must conform to the Inst zoning (i.e. correct density, 25% public open space, consideration of future school expansion etc.) as determined by the High Court. If these conditions are not adhered to in any new planning application, then it would be considered to be a material contravention of the County Development Plan 2016-2022, and would need to be advertised as such. (This would be very unusual, and there would most likely be a huge amount of objections.) If any new planning application has more than 100 units, it can be submitted via the fast track (SHD) route again, or if it’s less than 100 units, it would go through the normal planning process via the Council. (Unfortunately, and disappointingly, the new government has not agreed to abolish the SHD process. The new Programme for Government states it will continue for another 18 months until the current legislation expires.)
You can find the judgement here on the courts.ie website.
More information about the history of this case can be found on our website.
A good Irish Times article about the final judgement can be found here.
We would like to again thank Michael Redmond for the heroic effort he put into this case. His achievement is simply extraordinary, and we are very lucky to have him in our community. It is quite astonishing to think that a planning application that was described as “fatally flawed” among other things by a High Court judge, could very easily have gone unchallenged if it had not been for Michael. But for him, we would have been living with the consequences for many, many years. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude.