Appeal of hangar refusal dismissed

WESTON Aerodrome’s appeal against An Bord Pleanála’s rejection of its application to turn former farmyard buildings on its lands into aircraft hangars was been dismissed.

Yesterday, the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, dismissed Weston’s appeal on grounds the board had taken all relevant matters into account before making its decision to refuse to grant permission for the hangars.

The privately licensed aerodrome, located between Lucan and Leixlip, got planning permission from Kildare County Council in 2005 for the change of use of farmyard buildings into 2,000 sq m of hangars.

On an appeal, An Bord Pleanála overturned that decision.

The board held the development was unacceptable as it was intensification of the aerodrome in a piecemeal way and the location of the proposed hangars were likely to create a traffic hazard.

The board also said the farmyard buildings proposals conflicted with a previous decision it had given in 2003 in which it gave permission for one large hangar, a control tower and office/clubhouse but in which it also refused permission for another five hangars.

Following a judgment last year, Weston was allowed challenge the board’s decision on the grounds that it had misinterpreted the previous permission in relation to intensification of use, and/or the board had fettered its own discretion in relation to granting a new permission.

In his judgment yesterday, Mr Justice Kearns said he was satisfied the board had regard to all relevant matter before it made its decision.

The judge also rejected Weston’s argument the board had fettered its discretion in relation to granting a new permission. Just because the board was being consistent with a past decision did not mean it had “blindly followed” or simply “rubber-stamped” the decision it made in relation to Weston’s 2003 application, he added.

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