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Bord Pleanála granted permission for 446 homes after it designated the proposed project a strategic housing development 
A residents’ group has obtained permission from the High Court to bring a legal challenge aimed at overturning planning approval for a development of 446 apartments in Dundrum, Co Dublin. 
Concerned Residents of Wesley Estate, Clonard Estate and Ballawley Court Estate, with an address at Sandyford, Co Dublin, has brought the judicial review proceedings against An Bord Pleanála and the State. 
It wants orders quashing the board’s permission of January 6th last for 446 apartments, in four blocks, and associated works at the site of Gort Mhuire Carmelite Centre, (Marmalade Lane) Wyckham Avenue, Dundrum, Dublin. 
The fast-track permission was granted to 1 Wyckham Land Ltd after the board designated the proposed development a strategic housing development under the Planning and Development (Housing and Residential Tenancies) Act 2016. 
A strategic housing development does not have to proceed via the normal planning route, where permission is first sought from a local authority. Instead the board can directly grant permission. 
On Monday, Mr Justice Garrett Simons told John Kenny, instructed by F.P. Logue Solicitors, for the group, he was satisfied, based on the “substantial” grounds of challenge raised, to grant leave for the proceedings. 
He granted a stay on works to March 15th, subject to the developer’s entitlement to apply, at 48 hours’ notice to the group, to lift or vary that. The position will be reviewed when the case returns to court on March 15th. 
Consultation procedure 
The grounds of challenge include claims the “closed” pre-application consultation procedure provided for in the 2016 Act, involving the developer, board and local authority, is incompatible with Article 6.4 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and/or the requirements of fair procedures and natural justice. 
The procedure means public participation occurs only after the board has formed a view on issues including whether the proposed development requires an EIA report or screening documents, the residents say. Public participation must be able to influence the shape of the final development, they contend. 
Further claims include the planning decision is invalid because, contrary to what the board determined, the application materially contravenes the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Development Plan, including concerning housing density and height. 
The residents claim the board erred in deciding, once two of the proposed six blocks of apartments were removed from the scheme, the incorporation of those areas into the open public space provision would provide “meaningful open space”. 
Further claims include the board failed to adequately consider the development’s potential impact on bats, a protected species. 
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