Sandymount cycleway: Council decided work did not require planning permission

Sandymount cycleway: Council decided work did not require planning permission

Dublin City Council has decided itself that work on the Sandymount cycleway is exempt development - did not require planning permission - to the surprise of objectors, the High Court heard.

In February, the court ordered a halt to a start on work for the new two-lane cycle way on Strand Road/Beach Road following a challenge by a local resident and by a councillor.

The case is scheduled to be heard in June over two days.

On Wednesday, when Mr Justice Charles Meenan was updated in relation to preparation of documents in advance of the trial, Neil Steen SC, for the objectors Peter Carvill and Cllr Mannix Flynn, said all the paperwork is almost complete and the matter will be ready for hearing as scheduled.

In the meantime, counsel said the council had decided the cycleway was exempt development - did not require planning permission - under a process provided for through the Planning and Development Act 2000.

Provision

This provision allows a council to decide whether something is exempt or it can be referred to An Bord Pleanála for a decision.

Mr Steen said the council's decision to make this decision itself, rather than refer to the board, came "somewhat as a surprise to us".

Notwithstanding that however, his side had itself referred the exemption declaration question to the board and a decision on that is awaited, he said.

Counsel also said given the large amount of paperwork it was possible the two days set aside for the hearing may not be enough.

Mr Justice Meenan said the case was "getting no more than two days" and he would, if necessary, put downtime limits for the parties to make their cases.

He gave directions for the further exchange of documents and submissions and adjourned it to June.

In his decision halting the works, the judge said the risk of greater injustice lay in not granting a stay on the council's works pending determination of the full challenge.

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