An Bord Pleanála is reviewing documents related to its controversial overturning of planning permission for a hotel development on the north Dublin coast in 2017, it has confirmed.
The almost three-hectare site known as Holmpatrick Cove – just south of Skerries – had been earmarked for a hotel and eco-housing development, until it was blocked by a three-person An Bord Pleanála ( ABP) committee, led by then former deputy chair of the board Paul Hyde.
‘I have legitimate and well-founded concerns’
Alison Ryan and her husband Michael Branagan had received planning permission from Fingal Co Council to build a hotel on the site, but lost control of a large portion of the land in a receivership which followed ABP’s decision.
Ryan has previously written to both ABP and Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien, asking they revisit the case, without success. The minister had visited the site prior to ABP’s refusal.
Last month she again wrote to ABP, outlining her concerns about its decision to block the plans, and asking for the issue to be included as part of a wider probe of certain decisions taken at An Bord Pleanála.
“If my case was not included in your inquiry ,” she wrote, “I am requesting that you do so now – as I have legitimate and well-founded concerns.”
Ryan described Freedom of Information documents that she had obtained, which related directly to the decision-making process on the case.
She also pointed out that a leaked internal report from An Bord Pleaná la had found that concerns raised about the handling of certain cases had “a factual substance”.
“Unlike the majority of developments in your report, we didn’t benefit from the culture in the board,” wrote Ryan to ABP.
“Quite the opposite. We lost our livelihood, including our family home, because we had a reasonable expectation that we would achieve planning – having complied with everything required of us in the development plan process.”
ABP last week confirmed in writing to Ryan that it was reviewing the files related to the proposed hotel development, and would inform her of its decision "in due course”.
When contacted by the Sunday Independent for comment, a spokesman for An Bord Pleaná la said they were unable to provide any further details.
In response to last week’s letter, Ryan responded to ABP that she was “pleased to see that your inquiry team are looking at the previous decisions taken by An Bord Pleanála apropos of our land at Holmpatrick”.
”I have already outlined, in some detail, why I believe the decision on Holmpatrick Cove in September 2017 does not stand up to scrutiny,” she wrote.