Broadcaster, Pat Kenny has confirmed he is to provide financial support to a local residents' initiative in Dalkey seeking to challenge in the High Court a decision giving planning permission to a mixed-use development for Bulloch Harbour.
In recent days, householders around Dalkey have received a newsletter along with an insert asking residents to contribute to a fund-raising initiative aimed at raising sufficient funds to launch a High Court judicial review of June's An Bord Pleanála ruling.
In an interview, Dalkey resident Mr Kenny said that he intends to make “a good donation” to the fund-raising effort by the Bullock Harbour Preservation Association.
He said: “Everyone is being asked to chip in to get the process going."
Mr Kenny said: "I am no legal expert, but it was a wrong-headed decision made to grant planning permission and it has to be stopped.”
Mr Kenny said:
If a judge is shown a video of Bulloch Harbour during Storm Emma I would hope the judge would say ‘were ye crazy or what?’ and tear up the planning decision.
He said: “Everyone should google those videos and see for themselves.”
Mr Kenny said he was motivated into donating to the legal fund over health and safety concerns along with the preservation of the harbour.
Mr Kenny said that the bar shouldn’t be set so high for residents in challenging An Bord Pleanála decisions with the costs that are involved.
He said that board members making the An Bord Pleanála decisions “are unelected people who have more power than elected people. It is extraordinary”.
Last week, Mr Kenny said that the Bulloch Harbour decision resulted in him losing faith in An Bord Pleanála in adjudicating on planning decisions.
The Bulloch Harbour decision was made before the appeals board gave the go-ahead for apartments beside the Kenny home which the Newstalk broadcaster and his wife, Kathy strenuously opposed.
In both cases, the appeals board ignored the recommendation of its own inspector to refuse planning.
Coincidentally, the applicant for both sites is Richard Barrett’s Bartra Capital. In relation to the residential development given the go-ahead adjacent to the Kenny home, Mr Kenny confirmed that the group of residents who opposed the plan have met in recent days.
He said: “We are investigating all possibilities and that includes taking legal advice.”
A spokeswoman for the Bullock Harbour Preservation Association said on Tuesday that she no doubt that sufficient funds will be raised for the legal challenge such is the depth of local feeling concerning the appeals board decision.
We have been inundated with communications by the members of the public expressing their amazement, disbelief and outrage at the findings of An Bord Pleanála.
"We have been pressed very hard and strongly encouraged to take this action by the enormity of the response.”