High Court reporters
The High Court has dismissed a challenge to the development of 416 homes on a site at Dublin’s South Circular Road.
Local residents Sinéad Kerins and Mark Stedman brought the judicial review action with the aim of overturning An Bord Pleanála’s September 2020 permission for the five-block build-to-rent scheme to a subsidiary of US property group Hines.
Last month, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) determined legal questions in the case that had been referred to it by Mr Justice Humphreys in November 2021.
He had already dismissed, in May 2021, all domestic law points of challenge.
In a statement last month, Hines welcomed the CJEU's ruling saying it “looks forward to the swift conclusion of the proceedings” so it can progress delivery of the homes at the former Bailey Gibson lands.
However, the case went on for further hearing after the applicants said further argument was needed to resolve outstanding issues following the CJEU’s decision.
An Bord Pleanála described the request for further hearing as “stunning” as, counsel submitted to the court last month, the applicants’ case was supposed to fail if the CJEU responded as it did.
In a ruling on the outstanding matters on Monday, Mr Justice Humphreys said all of the grounds of challenge were already rejected by him or the CJEU.
A ground alleging a masterplan jointly prepared by Dublin City Council and Hines that encompasses the development site required a Strategic Environmental Assessment had been rejected by him as a domestic law point.
The CJEU ruled such assessments are not required for plans that are not binding, he added.
He dismissed the proceedings brought by Ms Kerins, of Rehoboth Place, Dolphins Barn, Dublin 8, and Mr Stedman, of Elford Terrace, Donore Avenue, Dublin. The judge proposed there would be no order regarding the legal costs of the parties unless the parties write to the court requesting otherwise.
The Bailey Gibson lands adjoin the Player Wills portion of the South Circular Road site, which has planning in place for the construction of 732 apartments across four blocks with one building rising to a height of 19 storeys. This portion of the overall scheme, on lands spanning 13.6 acres, has also been referred to the CJEU for a determination.