Thursday 22 March 2018

O'Flynn's new homes plan delayed by fresh appeal

Developer Michael O’Flynn’s plans for new homes in South Dublin have been in train since 2015by
Developer Michael O’Flynn’s plans for new homes in South Dublin have been in train since 2015by
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

A long-running saga over developer Michael O'Flynn's bid to build hundreds of new homes in South Dublin is set to continue with plans for the development being appealed to An Bord Pleanala for a second time.

O'Flynn Capital Partners' proposal for 164 houses and apartments at Beech Park in Cabinteely, which has been in train for nearly three years now, has already been the subject of two planning applications to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

While the council gave its approval for the development the second time round, the matter wouldn't have even been down for its consideration had it not been for Mr Justice Robert Haughton's ruling in the High Court that it had "misconstrued and misapplied" the terms of its own planning scheme when it refused Mr O'Flynn's original planning application.

Mr O'Flynn had sought a judicial review of the council's initial rejection of his plan for Beech Park in September 2016, arguing that its planners had failed to adhere to the terms set out for the Cherrywood area. The Beech Park site falls within the Cherrywood strategic development zone (SDZ). Designation as an SDZ is intended to speed up the provision of amenities and to streamline applications for development.

Delivering his ruling on the matter in August of this year, Judge Haughton was highly-critical of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, saying that it had both "misconstrued and misapplied" the terms of its own planning scheme, and that it had either had an "improper motive" for doing this, or had taken "irrelevant matters" into consideration.

Judge Haughton ruled that O'Flynn Capital Partners should be allowed to submit a fresh application for the project.

That proposal was approved by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council just over three weeks later. It has since been appealed however by three parties to An Bord Pleanala.

Mr O'Flynn's efforts to progress his company's plans for the Beech Park site were until recently also being frustrated by a decision from An Bord Pleanala itself.

The developer sought and was granted leave by the High Court to bring a judicial review against the Bord, however, arguing that it had erred in its decision to refuse permission for the development of 34 houses elsewhere on the Cabinteely site, as it had also chosen to examine issues relating to the provision of an access road located within the adjacent Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone (SDZ).

While An Bord Pleanala was entitled to consider and rule on the appeal against the development of the 34 houses, lawyers for Mr O'Flynn argued that it had no jurisdiction to rule on the provision of the proposed access road as it was located inside the boundaries of the SDZ, an area which falls outside its statutory remit.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern quashed An Bord Pleanala's decision in the High Court on November 15 last after being informed the matter had been settled by consent between the parties.

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