A farmer is taking a High Court case over An Bord Pleanála’s decision to refuse permission for a one-off rural housing at her family farm and equestrian centre.
Naomi Hanlon says she was born and raised less than 150 metres from the development site at Carrigeen, Rathcoole, Co Dublin, and she is now the full-time operator of the family farm and equestrian centre, which hold about 60 ewes and 10 horses.
She submitted that the planning board did not properly consider that she has a genuine need to live close to her employment, which is related to the rural community.
South Dublin County Council has twice refused planning permission for the construction of a house on the 18-acre farmlands.
Upon appeal, An Bord Pleanála found that the proposed development would contribute to “random rural housing” in an area under urban influence.
It said she had not established a “demonstrable economic or social need” to live in this rural area. It also was not satisfied Ms Hanlon’s housing needs could not be met in the nearby Rathcoole village.
The board pointed to national planning objectives and the South Dublin County Development Plan, which aims to restrict the spread of dwellings in areas, such as this, which are zoned to protect and improve rural amenities and agriculture.
Ms Hanlon’s counsel, Christian Keeling, told the court on Monday that the board failed to properly engage with key documents in her application, including an expert opinion from Teagasc that said her work required her to live at the farm, particularly during lambing and foaling season.
The inspector failed to adequately consider the land use, which amounts an error of law, said Mr Keeling. He further submitted that the board did not adequately explain its reason for rejecting the application.
Mr Justice Charles Meenan was satisfied there the applicant had raised substantial grounds that warranted granting permission for Ms Hanlon to pursue her judicial review challenge.
He granted leave on an ex-parte basis (only Ms Hanlon was represented) and adjourned the matter.