The High Court will tomorrow hear a critical environmental Judicial Review case when environmentalist (and one of FIE's founding members) Peter Sweetman will seek a Judicial Review of An Bord Pleanala's decision to allow a link road from the Ennis bypass to Ennis town to cut through a designated nature conservation area.

The proposed road will require the destruction of a section of karst limestone which has been designated as an EU Special Area of Conservation. Under European law, developments in these areas can only be permitted if the proposed project is of overriding public importance or the permission of the European Commission has been given. The Judicial Review claims that neither is the case here.

The road project was approved in the first instance by An Bord Pleanala under Section 50 of the Planning Act 2000 which fast tracks projects without the necessity of having to go first through County Council planning departments. The result of this system, however, is that no planning appeal is possible and the only remedy open is to bring extremely expensive proceedings before the High Court by way of Judicial Review.

Aside from the issue of the protected habitats, the case will be closely watched in Brussels as it comes a week after the Commission has announced that it is bringing proceedings against Ireland for its failure to implement the Aarhus Convention and its implementing European Directive. This assures citizens of a 'right to bring legal challenges without prohibitive expense' with the 'objective of giving the public concerned wide access to justice'. Neither is the case here.

For background, see: EU COURT ACTION POSES PROBLEM FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL.
The High Court will tomorrow hear a critical environmental Judicial Review case when environmentalist (and one of FIE's founding members) Peter Sweetman will seek a Judicial Review of An Bord Pleanala's decision to allow a link road from the Ennis bypass to Ennis town to cut through a designated nature conservation area.

The proposed road will require the destruction of a section of karst limestone which has been designated as an EU Special Area of Conservation. Under European law, developments in these areas can only be permitted if the proposed project is of overriding public importance or the permission of the European Commission has been given. The Judicial Review claims that neither is the case here.

The road project was approved in the first instance by An Bord Pleanala under Section 50 of the Planning Act 2000 which fast tracks projects without the necessity of having to go first through County Council planning departments. The result of this system, however, is that no planning appeal is possible and the only remedy open is to bring extremely expensive proceedings before the High Court by way of Judicial Review.

Aside from the issue of the protected habitats, the case will be closely watched in Brussels as it comes a week after the Commission has announced that it is bringing proceedings against Ireland for its failure to implement the Aarhus Convention and its implementing European Directive. This assures citizens of a 'right to bring legal challenges without prohibitive expense' with the 'objective of giving the public concerned wide access to justice'. Neither is the case here.

For background, see: EU COURT ACTION POSES PROBLEM FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL.
  • No comments found
Add comment