Calls for Fingal council to take legal challenge against Swords scheme

by Gazette Reporter

A Swords Councillor has called for the local authority to “set the bench mark” and take a legal challenge against a high-rise apartment scheme.

Independent4Change’s Dean Mulligan wants Fingal County Council (FCC) to seek a Judicial Review over a Strategic Housing Development at Fosterstown.

Local councillors were dismayed when An Bord Pleanala granted fast-track permission for 268 apartments, a crèche and retail units.

Permission was granted to MKN Property Group for an eight-storey development on a prime site bounded by the Forest Road which is contrary to the Masterplan for the area drawn up by the council, vetoing any scheme of more than 100 units.

Cllr Mulligan, who described the decision as “disgraceful”, said he was disappointed with the council’s stance that seeking a Judicial Review would set a precedent.

In a statement to Dublin Gazette, FCC said: “An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission on 3 February for 268 apartments, a creche and a retail units on lands at Fosterstown, Swords under the provisions of the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) legislation.

“In making its decision, An Bord Pleanala have set out that regard was had to National and Regional Planning Frameworks, Ministerial Guidelines and the provisions of the Fingal Development Plan 2017 – 2023.

“The decision by the Board sets out that under Section 37(b)(2) of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, the Board is not precluded from granting permission for a development which materially contravenes a Development Plan.

“Fingal County Council note that An Bord Pleanala are the decision making authority for SHD applications under the provisions of the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016.”

Cllr Mulligan stated: “Let’s set the bench mark. I intend on submitting a section 140 under Local Government Act ‘instructing’ the council to take a Judicial Review on the first phase of the Fosterstown site.

“We need to say no to this blatantly flawed legislation.”

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