Dublin Cycling Campaign (DCC) has asked the High Court to overturn a decision granting permission for a strategic housing development including 741 build-to-rent apartments on a site at the rear of Dublin's Connolly Station.
DCC Clg argues the development was wrongly categorised by An Bord Pleanála as a strategic housing development (SHD), with the effect the developer’s application was fast-tracked by the board and did not go via the usual planning process.
The development site is currently a car park used by CIE and the developer, Singapore based Oxley Holdings Ltd, had agreed with CIE to maintain 180 car parking spaces for CIE.
The campaign's judicial review proceedings against the Board opened via a video conference link today before Mr Justice Denis McDonald.
DCC Clg, represented by James Devlin SC, with John Kenny BL, instructed by solicitor Fred Logue, argued the SHD legislation provides for a maximum 4,500 sqm of non-residential uses in an application for SHD categorisation.
It says the proposed development includes a new third storey 135 space car parking deck in one of the apartment blocks, extending to about 4,000 sqm. When added to 3,100 sqm commercial units in the proposed development, that exceeds the SHD threshold, with the effect permission has to be sought from Dublin City Council via normal planning channels, it claims.
The Board and developer, a notice party to the case, deny the claims and argue the CIE car park does not require planning permission and does not need to be counted for other uses.
The development meets the criteria for SHD categorisation, they contend.
DCC CLG, Tailor's Hall, Back Lane, Dublin 8, is a registered charity with the purpose of making Dublin a safer and better city for cyclists.
Its challenge concerns ABP's permission for construction of 741 build to rent apartments, retail space, and associated site works on CIE lands to the rear of Connolly Station, Connolly Station car park, Sheriff Street Lower.
Its core claim is that the Board lacked jurisdiction under the 2016 Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act to grant permission because the development is not "strategic housing development" under section 3 of that Act.
The Board erred in law in not taking into account works to construct a third floor car parking deck with 135 car parking spaces and access ramps, it is claimed.
DCC also claims the board incorrectly concluded a stage two appropriate assessment was not required and had given no reasons for preferring the developer's evidence over evidence from Dublin City Council.
The board's inspector was obliged to say why, when faced with a choice between "brief and inaccurate" information from the developer premised on a belief that pumping raw sewage into Dublin Bay "is an environmental positive" for Natura 2000 sites and "contemporaneous and careful research demonstrating the exact opposite", she preferred the developer's evidence, it is argued.