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Undesirable in public interest to permit environmentalist to appeal planning decision

By: Ian Fitzharris BL

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High Court refuses application for leave to appeal to Court of Appeal by environmentalist who was refused, in substantive proceedings, leave to bring judicial review proceedings in respect of a decision not to grant planning permission for a civic plaza,on the grounds that: there is no uncertainty in Irish law (and its interplay with EU law) on the question of standing to bring planning and development judicial review proceedings; any appeal would not have the effect of transcending the very specific facts of the applicant's case; and it would not be desirable in the public interest to permit the applicant to appeal on the grounds proposed as to do so would constitute a monumental waste of court time and resources.

Judicial review - planning and development - application for leave to appeal to court of appeal - section 50A - whether principal judgment should be amended to reflect applicant's contention that court decided issue of standing only without recourse to any determination on leave to bring judicial review proceedings - no basis to amend judgment - no point or points of law of exceptional public importance - not desirable in public interest that an appeal should be taken - court dealt with issue of standing in isolation without embarking upon merits of grounds of challenge with agreement of applicant and respondents - court unsatisfied applicant had sufficient interest in matter - no material difference between court deciding not to grant leave and court refusing to grant such leave - application to amend refused - relevant legal principles applicable to grant of leave to appeal - glancré principles - proposed points of law of exceptional public importance - whether an uncertainty in application of EU law concerning standing in environmental cases - applicant's stated non-participation in planning process and its effect on standing - non-participation merely one of facts or factors taken into consideration - absence of uncertainty in law - degree of conformity of Irish national standing rules with EU law - interpretation of Irish national standing rules with EU Directive 2011/92 - whether EU law requires court to uphold applicant's standing to bring these proceedings - points fail to satisfy glancré principles - hypothetical - resolution of proposed points would not transcend facts of case - conclusions on standing very fact specific - no real basis suggested that analysis contained in principal judgment is wrong or whether there was a misapplication of certain standing principles - not desirable in public interest that an appeal should be brought to remedy perceived uncertainty - monumental waste of court time and resources

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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