Cycling group secures court decision over permission for Dublin apartments 

Dublin Cycling Campaign is granted leave for judicial review of Bord Pleanála decision on development beside Connolly Station 
 
The Dublin Cycling Campaign has secured leave for judicial review of a decision granting permission for 761 build-to-rent apartments at the rear of Dublin’s Connolly Station. 
Oxley Holdings Ltd, registered in Singapore, was given the go-ahead last month for the development after An Bord Pleanála determined it was strategic housing development, so allowing local planning authorities to be bypassed. 
 
At the High Court this week, Mr Justice Denis McDonald said Dublin Cycling Campaign (DCC) had made out appropriate grounds entitling it to bring the judicial review proceedings against the board, with Oxyley and Dublin City Council as notice parties. 
 
In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, the judge had excused John Kenny BL, instructed by solicitor Fred Logue, from attending court and they were notified electronically of the decision to grant leave and of directions aimed at progressing the case. 
 
Dublin Cycling Campaign, of Tailor’s Hall, Back Lane, Dublin 8, is a registered charity with the purpose of making Dublin a safer and better city for cyclists. 
 
Its challenge concerns An Bord Pleanála’s permission for construction of 741 build-to-rent apartments, retail space and associated site works on CIÉ lands to the rear of Connolly Station, Connolly Station car park, Sheriff Street Lower. 
 
It claims the board lacked jurisdiction under the 2016 Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act to grant permission because the development is not “strategic housing development” under section 3 of that Act. 
 
The board erred in law in not taking into account works to construct a third-floor car-parking deck with 135 car parking spaces and access ramps, it is claimed. 
 
Dublin Cycling Campaign says the the existing lands have some 390 car parking spaces, used by CIÉ staff and rail passengers. It claims the developer’s application treats the issue of car parking spaces in a “confused and contradictory way” and that it seems the 390 spaces will be rationalised to 180 spaces. 
 
Among various arguments on that issue, it is claimed the board was obliged, but failed, to give reasons why it had concluded it was entitled to grant permission for a car parking deck that did not form part of the original planning application. 
 
Other claims include the board failed to properly consider concerns by a Dublin City Council senior executive parks superintendent about the conclusions of the developer’s appropriate assessment screening report in relation to the effect of increased sewage effluent loading in Dublin bay pending completion of the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment plant. 
 
A board inspector who considered the matter had recommended permission be granted subject to conditions, and the board granted permission with 29 conditions. 
 
Dublin Cycling Campaign claims the board incorrectly concluded a stage two appropriate assessment was not required and had given no reasons for preferring the developer’s evidence over the council’s. 
 
The inspector was obliged to say why, when faced with a choice between “brief and inaccurate” information from the developer premised on a belief that pumping raw sewage into Dublin Bay “is an environmental positive” for Natura 2000 sites and “contemporaneous and careful research demonstrating the exact opposite”, she preferred the developer’s evidence, it is argued. 
 
Further claims include that the planning application was invalid on a number of grounds. 
 
The case is due back before the court on April 30th. 
 
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