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Friday 14 December 2018

Council considers a judicial review to block houses

Dublin City Council’s offices at Wood Quay. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Dublin City Council’s offices at Wood Quay. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Dublin City Council is considering a costly judicial review in a bid to stop the building of more than 500 homes.

Council members met last night to discuss An Bord Pleanála's decision to grant permission for the controversial development beside St Anne's Park in Raheny, north Dublin. The scheme would ultimately lead to the loss of playing fields used by many clubs.

It was given the go-ahead despite more than 1,000 local objections, with the council and its chief executive Owen Keegan among those who objected. Members of the community recently decided to seek a judicial review.

Most councillors now believe it's their role to seek a judicial review, separately from the residents. Labour Party councillor Alison Gilliland said: "I'm appalled at the lack of consideration that An Bord Pleanála has taken.

"This appalling decision is an example of misguided government direction."

However, Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe claimed a judicial review would be "expensive and time consuming".

Local campaigners estimate it would cost about €5,000 for a barrister to assess the case.

The next step would be to accumulate all the necessary paperwork, which could cost €25,000. If the application is granted, it could cost both the developer and An Bord Pleanála more than €125,000 each. But if the case goes against the objectors they could lose the same amount.

The council and residents have until May 23 to make their application. Mr Keegan said he would agree to get advice on a possible review despite ruling out such a move previously. "That's a reasonable outcome," he said.

Irish Independent

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