‘Strategic Housing Development’ (SHD) – Expert Planning Evidence

In June 2019, expert Planning evidence provided by HRA PLANNING assisted a successful legal challenge taken against a decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for a 197 unit, ‘Strategic Housing Development’ in Bearna, Co. Galway.

Retained to provide expert planning evidence as part of a Judicial Review, HRA PLANNING identified material deficiencies in the decision of the Planning Appeals board to grant planning permission.

Planning evidence demonstrated how the proposed development materially contravened the provisions of the Galway County Development Plan in relation to; the ‘Core Strategy’ and the allocation of settlement growth; the landuse zoning objectives applicable to the subject site; and the application of Flood Risk Management procedures as it applied to the scheme of development.  Evidence was also presented demonstrating deficiencies in the assessment of potential effects on designated European Sites of conservation interest and the absence of Appropriate Assessment in respect to same.

In its decision, the Court determined that An Bord Pleanála mistakenly concluded that the proposed development did not involve a material contravention of the Galway County Development Plan, given that; the scale of the proposed development would breach the population allocation for Bearna as set out in the core strategy and settlement hierarchy of the County Development Plan; and, that the site was located within an area of flood risk and that sufficient assessment was not conducted.  The Court concluded that the application did not address these statutory requirements and that these legal errors invalidated the grant of planning permission.

Please contact us for further information in relation to expert planning witness service.