Residents sue over 698-bed student accommodation near UCD
A High Court judge has cleared a challenge to overturn the authorization for a 698-bed student housing development in Goatstown, south of Dublin.
Two local residents filed a lawsuit against An Bord Pleanála’s fast-track authorization in June for the development of eight blocks on the former Our Lady’s Grove school site, some 850m from University College Dublin.
This is the second time that strategic housing development plans for this site have faced a legal challenge, with a previous fast-track authorization for 132 apartments overturned by the High Court in March 2020.
Having been told that one of the main grounds for the plaintiffs’ case is that removing the trees would contravene the local development plan, Judge David Holland issued an order prohibiting the developer from interfering with the trees on the site. pending the next hearing date on November 8. .
Developer Colbeam Limited sought permission directly from An Bord Pleanála, bypassing the normal planning process, as a strategic real estate development. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown’s council was, however, consulted and recommended that the building permit be refused, Stephen Dodds SC, charged by FP Logue lawyers, said for the applicants.
Residents of The Grove, Goatstown, Wendy Jennings and Adrian O’Connor, say they are not opposed to development at the site, but believe it represents “significant” over-development of the site. They said they also have significant concerns about the viability of dedicated student housing there.
They claim that the board’s authorization for the € 160million project is invalid on grounds such as it contravenes Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown’s requirements for open spaces. The development plan for the area is also being violated when it comes to the height of the building, they claim. The Commission’s decision further violates the requirement of Part V of the Planning Act for the provision of social housing, they say.
Other grounds include alleged violations of EU law regarding habitat protection, as it is claimed that the council “failed to apply the correct legal test” with regard to bat fauna. Questions of validity also relate to the alleged failure of the State to correctly transpose an article of the European Habitats Directive.
Martin Hayden SC, representing Colbeam, part of the opinion, said a delay in completing construction after the summer of 2024 would leave the company vulnerable to a loss of € 10.5 million, in because of the possibility of missing the start of the next school year.
Separately, on Tuesday, the management company of an estate in Dundrum initiated legal proceedings to have the authorization to build near 231 residential units canceled on the former site of the Marist Fathers of Mount St. Marys.
Churchfields Management Company CLG, represented by John Kenny BL, heard by attorneys for FP Logue, alleges that the board’s decision is invalid due to material violations of zoning goals. The main reasons also include that the planning authority would not have carried out the required preliminary environmental impact assessment exercise and that the decision constitutes a material violation of the objective of local zoning to preserve trees and trees. drink.
On Tuesday, Justice Holland adjourned the leave application until November 8.