Friday 16 December 2022

Query on the specific proposals under the Bill pertaining to Judicial Reviews of planning decisions

 Timelines for various steps in the judicial review (JR) process will be introduced including for pleadings, hearing of cases and delivery of judgements by the Court. ABP or the local authority, as appropriate, will be able to correct an error of fact or law in a planning decision and will be able to apply for a stay on the determination of JR proceedings while doing so. Provisions regarding standing to take a JR will be updated so that environmental NGOs who meet certain criteria in relation to their establishment and purposes can also bring challenges. In addition, where an organisation, for example a resident’s association, seeks to take a JR, it will have to be taken by an individual or individuals, rather than by the association. In light of the recent ruling by the Supreme Court in Heather Hill*, the Bill will also introduce costs protection for JR cases. There will not be any order for costs unless the Court considers that the proceedings are frivolous or vexatious or an abuse of process.

*Heather Hill Management Company CLG & McGoldrick -v- An Bord Pleanála, Burkeway Homes Limited and the Attorney General, Supreme Court, Murray J, 10 November 2022, [2022] IESC 43: here it was held that all of the grounds in the proceedings challenging the validity of decisions to grant development consent should benefit from costs protection.

Query answered by Brendan Buck of BPS Planning Consultants LTD

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