THE HIGH Court is to hear arguments from the State and An Bord Pleanála before deciding whether to grant leave to An Taisce and two local residents to bring separate judicial review actions aimed at quashing permission for a gas pipeline linked to the Corrib gas field in Co Mayo.
If leave is granted for the proceedings, an order restraining works on the pipeline until the cases are decided will be sought.
An Taisce, the heritage protection agency, and Monica Muller and Peter Sweetman, Rossport South, Ballina, Co Mayo – who own land 500 metres south of the proposed pipeline – both claim the permission breaches EU directives relating to the conservation of natural habitats. It is also alleged the pipeline crosses several areas of special conservation interest in Co Mayo.
The applicants have brought separate judicial review proceedings against An Bord Pleanála, the Minister for the Environment and the State aimed at overturning the board’s decision of January 11th last, granting planning permission to Shell EP Ireland to construct 8.3km of pipeline between the Corrib gas field and the gas terminal at Ballinaboy, Co Mayo.
Shell EP is a notice party to the proposed actions.
Mr Justice Michael Peart said the applications for leave to seek judicial review should be made on notice to the defendants and notice party.
The decision means the board, State parties and Shell will be heard by the court before its ruling on whether to grant leave for judicial review. The proceedings will come before the court again later this month.