Challenge to Shanakiel redevelopment plans

A High Court challenge has been brought against An Bord Pleanála’s decision to allow developers demolish the former hospital where Michael Collins’ body was taken after he was shot at Beal na Blath in August 1922.

Challenge to Shanakiel redevelopment plans

Last December, An Bord Pleanála gave the go ahead to redevelop the site of Shanakiel Hospital, which will include the redevelopment of Shanakiel House —which was built in the mid-1700s — and the construction of two new detached dwellings.

As part of that proposal several structures, including the former hospital building, stables dating to the 1700s, and other ancillary buildings are to be demolished.

In proceedings brought by Raymond Duggan, Knockshedan, Shanakiel, Cork it is claimed the buildings are protected structures.

Mr Duggan’s property adjoins the site. The court heard his family previously owned the hospital site. In his action against An Bord Pleanála he seeks an order quashing its decision to grant planning permission to develop the hospital site .

He seeks declarations including that in granting permission the planning authority failed to act in accordance with fair procedures and constitutional justice. Cork City Council and proposed developer Progressive Commercial Construction Ltd are notice parties to the case.

Yesterday Stephen Dodd, counsel for Mr Duggan, said the Duggan family acquired the property in 1905 and by 1908 converted one of the buildings into a hospital. The hospital treated Irishmen injured in the First World War, and was where Michael Collins was brought after he was shot and killed in 1922‘.

The family sold the hospital in 2004. It closed in December 2012.

The developers secured permission to restore Shanakiel House to a standalone building for residential use or for use as a medical/consulting facility and build two new dwellings.

In its decision the board had concluded Shanakiel House is a protected structure. It was his client’s case that the other structures on the site also form part of the protected structure.

The board in allowing the for the partial demolition of buildings on the site had erred in law and failed to have regard for the definition of protected structure as set out in the 2000 Planning and Development Act.

Counsel added permission can only be granted to demolish part of protected structures in exceptional circumstances. No exceptional circumstances were advanced by the board, counsel added.

He also said an inspector had raised concerns about the scale and position that one of the proposed new dwellings included in the development would have on Mr Duggan’s dwelling.

The inspector made recommendations including that the proposed house be moved northwards by 7m. However counsel said those recommendations were not accepted by the board and no reasons were given.

The matter was made returnable to a date in March.

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