A High Court challenge against An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for a €30 million co-living development on Dublin’s North Great George’s Street has been admitted to the fast-track Commercial Court list.
The action has been brought by the North Great George’s Street Preservation Society, composed of local residents, which wants the court to quash An Bord Pleanála’s decision to give the development which contains 132 residential units, the go-ahead.
Permission to allow the development, located at North Great George’s Street and Hill Street in Dublin’s North inner city, was granted, with 17 conditions attached, in June 2020 to the developer Hillstreet Limited Partnership.
Last November the Society sought permission to have the board’s decision judicially reviewed. It has been mentioned before the courts on a number of occasions since.
On Monday Hillstreet, represented by Jarlath Fitzsimons SC, applied to have the matter admitted to the fast-track commercial court list.
Counsel said that there was “a commercial urgency” to the matter, and his client has already expended some €5 million on the development, which costs over €30 million which will range from three to seven storeys in height.
It claims that the delay in being able to start works on the development will have financial implications for the Hillstreet and will result in an increase in costs.
The case would benefit if it is heard in the commercial court’s Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Development list, Hillstreet claims.
Counsel said that it is envisaged that both the leave application, and the action its self will be heard by the court at the same time in a telescoped hearing.
There was no objection to the application by either the Society or the board.
Mr Justice David Barniville said he was satisfied that the matter should be admitted to the list.
Historical architectural importance
In its judicial review proceedings against the board the Society claims that the decision to grant planning permission is flawed and should be set aside for a number of reasons.
The Society claims the area is one of historical architectural importance and that several buildings near the site of the proposed development are protected structures.
The society also claims that the board’s finding that the proposed development would not adversely affect or seriously injure the Street’s character and heritage is unreasonable and contrary to common sense.
Another ground on which the Society has launched its challenge is that the board failed to carry out a proper or preliminary screening of the proposed development for the purpose of carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment.
As well as seeking an order quashing the Board’s decision the Society seeks declarations that the board failed to comply with its obligations under EU directives, including carrying a proper assessment of the proposed developments impact on the environment.
The matter will be next mentioned before the court in May.