Appeals board rules out oral hearing in Dublin airport runway noise row

Appeals Board Rules Out Oral Hearing In Dublin Airport Runway Noise Row
Dublin airport's operator sought amendments to the runway's 2007 planning permission that would allow the 3.1km runway be used between midnight and 6am.
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Gordon Deegan

An Bord Pleanála has rejected a request from north Dublin residents that it stage an oral hearing into plans by Dublin airport's operator to ease restrictions on the operation of its €320 million runway.

It is now over 14 months since Fingal Co Council granted planning permission to Daa to amend two planning conditions attached to the 2007 planning permission for the runway.


Dublin airport's operator, Daa, was seeking amendments to the runway's 2007 planning permission that would allow the 3.1km runway be used between midnight and 6am and that a noise quota system would be used to dictate the number of night-time flights at the airport.

The 2007 planning permission - which remains in place - curtails flights between 11pm and 7am.


The airport operator in August of last year succeeded on both fronts with the Fingal County Council decision and the decision was appealed by local residents' groups as part of the long-running planning saga.

Fourteen separate third party appeals were lodged against the grant of permission and now in a letter to all parties in the dispute, An Bord Pleanala has stated that it has decided to determine the case without an oral hearing.


The letter states that the board has concluded that the case can be dealt with adequately through written procedures.

St Margaret’s The Ward (SMTW) Residents Group has lodged an extensive appeal against the Fingal Co Council and requested that the appeals board hold an oral hearing.

In response to the decision not to stage an oral hearing, a spokesman for SMTW said that "SMTW and the communities we represent in Fingal and East Meath are very disappointed with the decision not to hold an oral hearing”.

The spokesman said that Daa’s application to relax night-time restrictions at Dublin Airport "is something that will significantly, negatively alter the noise environment for thousands of residents”.


He said: "We feel that there are significant local issues and therefore an oral hearing is necessary.

The spokesman added: "We are concerned that without an oral hearing our opportunities to effectively advocate on behalf of our communities is seriously hampered. This decision only favours one party, the daa."

A spokesman for Daa said that it wouldn’t be commenting on An Bord Pleanala's decision.

After the Fingal Council planning green light in August 2022, a Daa spokesman said that the decision “helps provide the operational flexibility required by Dublin Airport to enable the regrowth and development of international connectivity at Ireland’s main gateway”.

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As part of a planning condition attached to the permission, Daa faces a potential bill of €6 million to insulate up to 300 homes in the vicinity of Dublin airport from night-time air traffic noise.

This followed Fingal County Council making it a condition that eligible householders around the airport are to receive a €20,000 grant from Daa to insulate their homes from night time air traffic noise.

As part of its 245-page planner’s report into the case, Fingal County Council concluded that the application “would further safeguard the role of Dublin Airport and the long term amenity of residents in the area”.

Daa has stated that the new runway will support the creation of 31,200 new Irish jobs and €2.2 billion in additional economic activity by 2043.

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