An Bord Pleanála concedes in three challenges to Dublin and Kildare housing developments

An Bord Pleanála Concedes In Three Challenges To Dublin And Kildare Housing Developments An Bord Pleanála Concedes In Three Challenges To Dublin And Kildare Housing Developments
The High Court was told the planning board is consenting to orders that would overturn its approval for proposed Strategic Housing Developments (SHDs) in Killiney and Blackrock.
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High Court reporters

An Bord Pleanála has conceded in three separate High Court actions challenging its permissions for the development of 748 homes in south Dublin and 333 homes in Co Kildare.

The court heard on Monday that the planning board was consenting to orders that would overturn its approval for proposed Strategic Housing Developments (SHDs) in Killiney and Blackrock.

It is understood the concessions in the two Dublin cases come in response to grounds alleging a conflict of interest in the decisions on the part of An Bord Pleanála's former deputy chair, Paul Hyde.

Mr Hyde, who has always denied any wrongdoing, resigned from his role in July after facing allegations of conflicts of interest in certain planning decisions.

It was later reported that a senior barrister’s investigation for Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien into several claims of alleged impropriety was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), which has instigated a criminal prosecution against Mr Hyde under the Planning and Development Act.


An Bord Pleanála is understood to have accepted that there would be a reasonable apprehension that objective bias may arise in both Dublin decisions.


Eight locals had challenged the board's permission granted to Atlas Gp Limited for 255 apartments and houses off Church Road in Killiney.

In legal documents, the residents claimed Mr Hyde was a member of the panel that approved the development despite his brother being a partner in an engineering firm that allegedly conducted a report on the Killiney scheme.

The other challenge concerned the board’s permission for the development of 493 residential units at the site of St Teresa’s House, in Temple Hill, Blackrock.

The €200-million apartment scheme was proposed by Oval Target Limited, whose two directors Paddy McKillen Jnr and Matthew Ryan are major shareholders in the Press Up hospitality group.

Local groups Avondale Court Residents, Residents of St Vincent’s Park, and 15 individual residents claimed in their action that Mr Hyde and another An Bord Pleanála official granted permission for the Blackrock scheme despite allegedly having conflicts of interest in the project.

The court previously instructed the applicants to remove references to the other planning board official as the judge said they had failed to adequately present the allegations against her.


The residents alleged the engineering firm Mr Hyde's brother is involved in was hired as consultants for the development. Mr Hyde denies any wrongdoing.

Judicial review

On Monday, Stephen Dodd SC, instructed by FP Logue solicitor Eoin Brady, representing the applicants in both sets of proceedings, told the court the board was conceding in the matters.

Counsel for developer Atlas, a notice party in the Killiney proceedings, said it wanted time to liaise with the board in relation to legal costs it has incurred.

The court also heard on Monday that An Bord Pleanála would not be contesting another judicial review, brought by a local community group, concerning planning permission for 333 homes on a greenfield site on the outskirts of Clane, Co Kildare.

Mr Dodd, instructed by Mr Brady, said the board had conceded in the challenge brought by his client, Clane Community Council.

It is understood the concession relates to a ground about public transport. This case did not contain any conflict of interest allegations.

Mr Justice Richard Humpherys adjourned all three cases, which will be mentioned next month.

The Killiney residents’ judicial review challenging the board’s permission led to developer Atlas, a subsidiary of Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group, issuing a series of counter actions against them.

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In July, Ms Justice Emily Egan struck out the developer’s claim against the eight residents alleging the torts of the mediaeval doctrine of champerty and maintenance, which is aimed at preventing disinterested parties from involving themselves in litigation.

The residents claimed Atlas’s action was part of a Slapp (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) campaign. It, along with two other cases taken by Atlas against some or all of the eight, was intended to “interfere” with their judicial review proceedings, the residents had argued.

As she had determined the case was “bound to fail”, the judge did not make any conclusions about whether the actions amounted to Slapp. Atlas denied the allegation.

Last Wednesday, the judge made an order directing that Atlas must pay the residents’ legal costs for successfully defending against the developer’s maintenance and champerty claim.

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