Property company challenges adoption of Waterford development plan

Property Company Challenges Adoption Of Waterford Development Plan
Ruden Homes Limited wants the court to quash Waterford City and County Council’s decision to adopt the 2022-2028 scheme
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High court reporters

A property company is claiming in High Court proceedings that a new county development plan places "draconian and punitive" restrictions on part of its Co Waterford lands.

Ruden Homes Limited wants the court to quash Waterford City and County Council’s decision to adopt the 2022-2028 scheme, which allegedly inhibits its ability to develop homes on a portion of its 7.5-hectare lands at Monag, Dungarvan.


The council’s actions, the firm claims, were made contrary to requirements under a part of the Planning and Development Act of 2000.

Ruden Homes, which has offices in Carrigaline, Co Cork, says its lands were previously zoned for residential development, but, following amendments to the council’s new draft development plan, a “significant portion” was rezoned for “residential strategic reserve”.

The company says there was also a new specific development objective inserted into the draft plan which subjects part of its lands to a prospective masterplan, which must comply with EU environmental impact assessment requirements.

The objective renders any medium-term development of the site “impossible”, the company claims, in circumstances where it is alleged that multiple landowners would be required to join forces in preparing a masterplan. Ruden Homes says the objective seems to be open to multiple interpretations, and it is not clear how much of its lands are covered by it.


In legal documents, the development company and its director John Deane set out the site’s long planning history.

It says that 2007 planning permission for the development of 146 houses on the site was overturned on appeal due, in part, to an alleged failure by the council to properly prepare a master plan for the area.

Development phases

Subsequent planning approval was granted by the council in January of this year for seven homes to be built in the first of three development phases. Ruden Homes says designs were being finalised for the development of 52 dwellings in the second phase.

As part of the conditions attached to the consent for phase one, Ruden Homes was required to carry out what it claims are major road improvements that are aimed at accommodating the second development phase.


In an action against Waterford City and County Council, Ruden Homes and Mr Deane allege the council proceeded to adopt the plan in June without considering the developer’s submissions on the draft. This move was made contrary to fair procedures and to natural and/or constitutional justice, it claims.

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Ruden Homes alleges that elected members of the council were not informed of the firm’s submission on the draft plan and were unaware of its “serious concerns”.

The firm claims it was precluded from making submissions in respect of the insertion of the new specific development objective.

It wants various legal declarations and court orders, including an order overturning the council’s adoption of the plan. Alternatively, it seeks an order making void the new zoning and objective that allegedly affect its site.

The case came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan, who adjourned the matter to a later date.

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