Wednesday 22 November 2017

Weston Aerodrome loses appeal on plan for farmyard hangars

Tim Healy

THE High Court has dismissed an appeal by Weston Aerodrome, on the Dublin/Kildare border, against a Bord Pleanala decision refusing permission to turn former farmyard buildings into aircraft hangers.

The High Court dismissed Weston's appeal on the grounds that the board had taken all relevant matters into account before it made its decision to refuse to grant permission for the hangers.

The privately licensed aerodrome, located between Lucan and Leixlip, got planning permission from Kildare County Council in 2005 for the change of use of farmyard buildings into 2000 square meters of hangers to be used for light aircraft. However, following an appeal, the board overturned that decision.

An Bord Pleanala had found the development was unacceptable because it was intensification of the aerodrome in a piecemeal way and because the location of the proposed hangars was likely to create a traffic hazard.

The board said the farmyard buildings proposals conflicted with a previous decision it had given in 2003 in which it gave permission for one large hangar, a control tower and office/clubhouse but refused permission for another five hangars.

Following a judgment by Mr Justice Daniel O'Keeffe last year, Weston was allowed to challenge the board's decision on the grounds it had misinterpreted the previous permission in relation to intensification of use, and/or the board had fettered its own discretion in relation to granting a new permission.

An Bord Pleanala rejected Weston's claim that it had misinterpreted the previous planning decision.

In a judgment yesterday, High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said he was satisfied the board had regard to all relevant matter before it made its decision. He rejected Weston's argument that the board had fettered its discretion.

He said just because the board was being consistent with a past decision did not mean that it had "blindly followed" or simply "rubber-stamped" the decision.

Irish Independent

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