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Balbriggan CC seek to raise €40K for Judicial Review of controversial building development

An Bord Pleanála granted conditional permission for a build-to-rent apartment complex on the site of a former shopping centre in Balbriggan town. In arriving at its decision last November, the board ruled that the developer must reduce the number of proposed units by 24.

A planning application for the scheme had been lodged through the fast-track Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process. The Templar Place SHD, which was submitted by Rhonellen Developments Ltd, is proposed for the site of the former Mall Shopping Centre on Quay Street and High Street.

The developer had originally sought permission for 101 apartments across three blocks, ranging in height from three to six storeys, comprising 19 studio, 41 one-bed and 41 two-bed units.

The site is located within the designated Balbriggan Town Core Architectural Conservation Area and is zoned Objective MC – “to protect, provide for and/or improve major town centre facilities”. Residential and retail uses are “acceptable in principle” under this zoning, according to An Board Pleanála. The reduction in the number of units allowed, down from 101 to 77, is the most significant condition attached to the planning permission.


From Balbriggan Community Council:

We are requesting support from the people of Balbriggan.

Balbriggan Community Council previously made an observation on the proposal to build 101 Apartments on the former shopping centre site on Quay Street / High Street Balbriggan.

The Planning Department of Fingal County Council subsequently recommended Planning Permission be refused for this development, however, because the proposal was for over 100 units it therefore qualified as a Strategic Housing Development (SHD) and was decided by An Bord Pleanala to grant Planning Permission.

Permission was subsequently granted for this development to have 95 units, with 6 floors and they will be built to rent for 15 years.

Balbriggan Community Council has since consulted with a leading Solicitors firm who specialise in taking Judicial Reviews of SHD decisions. Having carried out an initial appraisal of the relevant documentation, they feel there are substantial grounds to apply for a Judicial Review of An Bord Pleanala’s decision to grant permission in this case, particularly as it went against the recommended decision of the Planning Department of Fingal County Council.

There are significant costs to taking a Judicial Review. If the case is won the cost can be circa €10,000, however, if the case is lost the cost could be circa €40,000.

Balbriggan Community Council is now asking the residents and businesses of Balbriggan to support us by making a contribution towards the legal costs of taking a Judicial Review. This would be the first time that a major planning decision relative to Balbriggan has been appealed to the Courts and we feel that it is in the best interests of Balbriggan to challenge this decision and avoid the Town Centre being overdeveloped with small build-to rent studio apartments.

The SHD legislation is fundamentally flawed as it allows developers to contravene the Development Plan.

A number of other SHD decisions have been brought to Judicial Review by other Communities and 75% of them have been successfully challenged. A decision to proceed with a Judicial Review is dependent on the required funding being raised. The date for Judicial Review is 2nd February, 2022.

or Perhaps you support the development, have your say on our Facebook Page HERE or contact to have your say.

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