Court allows Monkstown locals to challenge 387-home scheme they say could affect bathing waters

The High Court has permitted locals of Monkstown, south Co Dublin, to pursue their case alleging a 387-home development could negatively affect waters at the popular Seapoint swimming spot.

Among their complaints is that An Bord Pleanála allegedly failed to address claims that the development would exacerbate sewage overflows at the Salthill wastewater pumping station.

On Monday Mr Justice David Holland heard a “leave” application from the Monkstown Road Residents Association and Richard Tempany, who lives near the proposed development, located at Dalguise, Monkstown Road.

He gave them permission to seek orders quashing An Bord Pleanála’s grant of planning permission and to intermediary decisions of Uisce Éireann and the Minister for Housing and Heritage. Leave of the court to challenge the intermediary decisions was granted without prejudice to Uisce Éireann and the Minister being allowed to argue that the action against them has been brought too late.

GEDV Monkstown Owner Limited secured permission last February for 387 mainly rental apartments. The local residents’ group and Mr Tempany, represented by James Devlin SC, Alan Doyle and FP Logue solicitors, allege An Bord Pleanála made various legal errors during the planning process, including allegedly failing to promptly upload an environmental impact assessment report on to its website.

They object to Uisce Éireann’s letter of September 2022 which stated there was capacity available in its wastewater network to facilitate connection of sewers from the new project. The board’s reliance on this invalidates its permission, because discharge goes to an “unauthorised” and “unmonitored” sewer that overflows when it rains, they claim.

The applicants also claim the planning board failed to determine whether local bat populations and their breeding sites would be disturbed by the building works.

They allege the Minister for Housing and Heritage made a decision regarding the site in 2022 in which he failed to exercise his nature conservation functions.

Mr Justice Holland granted leave while the case was still “ex parte”, meaning only the applicants were entitled to be represented before the court. He then adjourned the matter to a later date at which point the respondents and notice party developer can make counter arguments.


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