THE Supreme Court has agreed to fast-track an appeal against a decision refusing to stop a High Court challenge to planning approval for an €270m extension of the Ringsend waste water treatment plant in Dublin.
The High Court had dismissed an application last month by Dublin City Council to strike out legal proceedings by the Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association who want to prevent the development.
The residents want orders overturning An Bord Pleanala's decision to grant permission last November for the project.
The permission was granted just weeks before the Minister for Arts & Heritage proposed on December 3rd to designate a 40km coastal stretch from Rockabil, Howth, to Dalkey Island as a special area of conservation.
The High Court had heard the Ringsend plant was built in 2003 to cater for a population of 1.64 million in the greater Dublin region but was now trying to cope with the average daily effluent of 1.8 million. The planned extension will provide capacity for 2.1 million.
Mr Justice Peter Charlton had dismissed the council’s application to strike out the residents’ case on the grounds that they constituted an unincorporated association. He said ministerial regulations prohibiting unincorporated associations from seeking to appeal planning decisions did not exist.
Today, the Supreme Court heard a ruling on the issue was urgent because the Ringsend plant was “already overloaded”.
Niall Handy BL, for the residents, agreed that the appeal should be given an early hearing date.
Chief Justice Susan Denham said she would grant priority and thought the case could be reached in June or July.