The High Court has given Protect East Meath permission to challenge Meath County Council’s decision to zone excess land in Drogheda under the recently adopted County Development Plan.
Protect East Meath had pointed out that the Council zoned enough land in the Southern Environs of Drogheda to accommodate a population of up to 18,000 even thought the Council itself said that the population of this area should grow by no more than 3,300 over the next 6 years.
Under the previous plan, the council had identified land which couldn’t be developed because it was in excess of what was required, but when the plan was reviewed this approach was abandoned. Protect East Meath claims that this approach is a breach of the Council’s legal requirements for land zoning.
Protect East Meath also challenges the Council’s failure to carry out a survey of services on zoned land which is also a legal requirement under the National Planning Framework and also a failure to carry out a lawful environmental assessment.
In the final point of challenge Protect East Meath challenges the Council’s decision because it didn’t take into account a traffic study commissioned by the organization which showed that the capacity of the R132 road was not sufficient for the population increase envisaged under the plan.
The case will return to court on 8 February 2022. Protect East Meath is represented by FP Logue Solicitors.
As reported today Protect East Meath has challenged a decision of An Bord Pleanála granting planning permission for a development of 275 apartments at the location of the current surface car park in Scotch Hall. The challenge is through a judicial review in the High Court of the planning decision.
The case was brought by Protect East Meath on the basis that the proposed development materially contravened aspects of the development plan for the area, in particular the Drogheda Docklands Area Plan which sets out a vision for a sustainable development in the docklands area of Drogheda.
The matter returns to court on Monday 11 October to allow time for formal amendments to the made to the court documents.
A submission to Meath County Council from the Development Applications Unit of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on the Dawn Meats project reveals that no concerns were raised about impacts on protect species and habitats in the Boyne.
This government department is home to the National Parks and Wildlife Service which is tasked with protecting and monitoring our biodiversity including habitats and species protected by EU law.
While they raised concerns with archaeology, the submission expresses no view on the proposal to pump effluent into the Boyne river which contains several protected habitats and is home to otters, kingfisher, salmon and river lamprey.
Last week An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission for a proposed strategic housing development in Duleek on the basis that the application contravened the zoning for the land. This follows from our successful High Court case taken with Highlands Residents Association that land zoned residential but included as part of strategic reserves could not be granted permission by An Bord Pleanála.
In fact the parcel of land on the outskirts of Duleek is earmarked for dezoning in the draft development plan and is slated to be placed outside the town boundary going forward.
Breaking: We’ve just learned that Hallscotch Ventures Limited has applied to An Bord Pleanála for planning permission for a strategic housing development of 275 apartments in four blocks ranging up to 12 stories at the surface car park beside scotch hall. The plans are here (https://www.scotchhallshd.com/)
Protect East Meath has obtained copies of two proposed planning applications for 338 houses at Cockhill Road and 184 at Silverstream. We are awaiting a copy of the plans for a further 123 units at Delvin Ridge which we expect to receive shortly.
(Please note this a version of the application submitted to Meath Co Co and Bord Pleanála for consultation, the developer still has to submit another application for permission, we’ll let you know when that happens)
Protect East Meath this week wrote to the Office of the Planning Regulator asking it to investigate a proposal by Meath County Council to release enough zoned land to build up to 8,000 houses in South Drogheda as part of the development plan review.
Under the previous development plan the Council had identified excess zoning in South Drogheda and imposed an “order of priority” where only specific sites could be developed based on criteria such as access to public transport in order to ensure an orderly and coherent development of the area. The remainder of the land, although remaining zoned residential could not be developed within the plan lifetime.
The Meath Development Plan is currently under review following the adopted of the Regional Spatial Strategy which envisages the population of Drogheda increasing by 25% over the next ten years from 40,000 to 50,000. To manage this increase in population the Regional Plan requires an Urban Area Plan to be developed jointly between Meath and Louth County Councils as a priority in order to ensure compact development and balance out development between the North and South of the town.
The draft plan envisages a population increase of 3,300 in the Southern Environs of Drogheda (the part of Drogheda in Meath) and the construction of 1,600 new housing units (including existing and new planning permissions).
However the draft plan allows six years for the Urban Area Plan to be developed which on any measure is not “prioritisation” In the mean time the draft completely removes the Phase II zoning which was preventing less suitable sites from being developed. If the draft is passed enough zoned land for 8,000 houses or a population increase of 20,000 will be available in principle.
Protect East Meath has written to the Office of the Planning Regulator expressing concerns that this approach will undermine the Regional Strategy and National Development plan by allowing uncoordinated development to take place before the Area Plan is adopted.
You can download the letter here or read it below:
Protect East Meath has just learned that Shannon Homes has withdrawn its planning application for 357 no. residential units (169 no. houses, 188 no. apartments), childcare facilities and associated site works at a site off the Colp Road and Mill Road.
This was the second attempt by Shannon Homes following a refusal by An Bord Pleanála in February this year prompted by a submission from Protect East Meath pointing out serious issues in relation to effects on the Boyne Estuary SPA area protecting winter birds.
The latest refusal follows our successful challenge to a development in Rathmullan proposed by Trailford Limited taken in partnership with the Highlands Residents Association. In that case the High Court found that An Bord Pleanála was legally prevented from granting planning permission on land zoned residential but qualified as phase II and not being available under the current development plan.
Protect East Meath had pointed out in its submission to An Bord Pleanála that the lands at Colp were also Phase II and therefore could not be developed under the current Meath County Development plan.
With this latest withdrawal no application can be made at least until the next County Development Plan comes into effect.
Only time will tell if it is going to be third time lucky for Shannon Homes.