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Planning board correctly interpreted statutory provisions in refusing leave to seek substitute consent in relation to a quarry

By: James Cross BL

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High Court refuses judicial review of the decision of the planning board refusing the applicant leave to seek substitute consent in relation to a quarry, on the grounds that the board correctly interpreted the statutory provisions at issue and was perfectly entitled to conclude, based on that interpretation and on the material before the board concerning the intensification of the operations of the quarry since 1964, that the quarry did not “commence operation” before 1st October, 1964.

Judicial review – Commercial Court – challenge to the refusal of leave to seek substitute consent – substitute consent is a form of retention permission introduced into Irish law in 2011 - one of several cases relating to the applicant’s quarry – argued that the Board misinterpreted and misapplied the law in refusing to hold that the quarry had “commenced operation” before 1st October, 1964 – statutory interpretation and application - Board did not misinterpret or misapply the law – conforms with the views of the CJEU – Court did not accept that the Board took into account irrelevant considerations - Board did not ignore or fail to have proper regard to the findings contained in previous judgments of the High Court in relation to the quarry - Board correctly interpreted the statutory provisions at issue and was perfectly entitled to conclude, based on that interpretation and on the material before the Board concerning the intensification of the operations of the quarry since 1964, that the quarry did not “commence operation” before 1st October, 1964 - not satisfied that the Board was precluded from reaching the decision which it took – errors in the decision were immaterial - application for leave to apply for substitute consent - inspector’s report - Board’s decision - challenge to Board’s decision - Board’s response - planning and legal history of the quarry - interpretation and application of s. 261A(24)(a)(i) of 2000 Act (as amended) - statutory framework and scheme - the new “gateway”: s261A(24) - European context - Board’s interpretation – previous caselaw - intention of the Oireachtas - Barras principle - conformity with European law - application of interpretation by the Board: irrationality - irrelevant considerations - findings in previous judgments - errors in the Board order.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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