Cork City Councillors have backed a motion of no confidence in An Bord Pleanála after what has been described as “an affront to local democracy”.
Independent Councillor Paudie Dineen tabled the motion of no confidence, but also called for the current board of An Bord Pleanála to be disbanded.
Councillor Dineen asked that a public inquiry be carried out into “the decision making of the board of An Bord Pleanála on large scale developments from January 1st 2019 to present day.”
His motion follows a ruling by An Bord Pleanála in which they overturned an unsuccessful material contravention voted on by Councillors in relation to a controversial housing proposal for Blackrock.
In January residents from the area applauded councillors as all but one voted against the material contravention, which would have paved the way for 30 additional apartments off the Cherry Lawn estate.
The Board have since decided to overrule the vote taken by Councillors and the development has been green-lit to proceed.
In his motion, Councillor Dineen said: “I have genuine concerns about the powers of the board of An Bord Pleanála after it gave the green light to a controversial proposed housing development in a Cork city suburb.
“This has been the most recent in a litany of decisions that have been granted by the board under the current Rebuilding Ireland and the National Student Accommodation Strategy.”
He added that the fact An Bord Pleanála have said the homes would be justified and acceptable is “an affront to local democracy and does nothing but diminish the elected members' powers in the decision making of the electoral area that they have been democratically elected to serve.”
Fianna Fáil Councillor Terry Shannon supported the motion saying that the Board’s decision to overturn a democratic decision has “huge ramifications, not only for us in terms of the City Development Plan, but for Council’s throughout this country.”
He also said that currently many people have no confidence in the planning process.
“I certainly think what the Board did in terms of my ward was an absolute disgrace. They should be ashamed of themselves and whoever took that decision should resign straight away.”