Judge allows appeal over remittal of Dún Laoghaire apartments decision

Fitzwilliam DL Ltd proposed to build 102 build-to-rent apartment on the grounds of St Michael's Hospital in Dún Laoghaire
Judge allows appeal over remittal of Dún Laoghaire apartments decision

High Court reporters

The High Court has agreed to allow an appeal over its decision to send a planning application for 102 build-to-rent apartments in Dún Laoghaire's Seafront Quarter back to An Bord Pleanála for reconsideration.

The site is on the grounds of St Michael's Hospital in the town. The proposal by Fitzwilliam DL Ltd is to demolish a two-storey vacant dwelling and build apartments up to 13-storeys high, with two retail units, associated private residential amenity space, and a café.

Permission was granted by An Bord Pleanála which was challenged by Crofton Buildings Management CLG, manager of the Harbour View apartment development, which is adjacent to the St Michael's site, and by Stephanie Bourke, of Carrickbrennan Road, Monkstown, who owns an apartment in Harbour View.

However, after the challenge was initiated in the High Court, the planning board conceded to the objectors.

The issue then became one of whether the High Court should remit the planning application back to the board for reconsideration or whether the decision should be simply quashed. The developer, Fitzwilliam, a notice party in the case, sought remittal to the board.

The board, in written submissions, also favoured remittal on the basis that either it could ensure fair procedures via an oral hearing or, if it could not, it would have to refuse permission.

Crofton argued against remittal and sought that the decision simply be quashed.

Last December, Mr Justice David Holland decided it should be remitted and that in reconsidering, the board must have regard to the 2022 Dún Laoghaire Development Plan. He also directed there should be an oral hearing to achieve fair procedures.

As a result, Crofton asked the judge to certify an appeal of that decision to the Court of Appeal. In such cases, a right of appeal is not automatic and must be certified by the High Court.

Crofton argued that in giving the directions in relation to remittal, the judge exceeded his powers, or departed from the relevant legislation under which any re-decision on remittal falls to be made.

In a judgment, Mr Justice Holland agreed to certify for an appeal on a number of points of law for the purposes of section 50A(7) of the Planning and Development Act 2000.

The case comes back before him next week.

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