A High Court challenge has been brought against Tipperary County Council's decision to grant planning permission for a public enhancement and development scheme of works in the town of Carrick-On-Suir.
The action against the 'Carrick-On-Suir Regeneration Plan' has been brought by the locally based Sean Treacy Park Resident's Association, over concerns the group has about the proposed development's impact on the town.
The group fears the proposals contained in the plan may cause an unreasonable and disproportionate interference with amenities located at Sean Treacy Park, as well as to the local environment and to the River Suir itself.
The plan, it is further submitted, does not conform to the requirements of proper planning and sustainable development in the town and the proposed development, it is claimed, will materially affect protected structures, including Ormonde Castle.
The works will also see alternations made to the town's streetscapes, new parking areas, alternation to existing parking areas, demolition of a derelict building, as well as new surfacing and paving works to footpaths.
Flawed and invalid
The group claims the local authority's decision, made last December, is flawed and invalid on several grounds including that a determination contained in an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that the proposed development had no significant environmental effect on local population was based on inadequate information.
The group also claims the decision breaches the EU directive on Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) as it allowed the council to extend the 2013 Carrick-On-Suir Development Plan, which was relied upon to allow the council grant permission without having to conduct any SEA assessment.
Other grounds of the group's claim include that the council did not provide any adequate notice to the group about the meeting where permission was granted.
It is also argued that the council failed to give statutory notice in respect of a proposed development which involves the carrying out of works on a protected structure.
In judicial review proceedings against the council, Ireland and the Attorney General, the group, represented by John Kenny BL, instructed by Eoin Brady for FP Logue solicitors, seeks various relief including an order quashing the council's decision to grant permission for the scheme.
It also seeks a declaration that the 2000 Planning and Development Act contravenes the SEA EU Directive as it allowed the extension of local development plans without the requirement that a new assessment of potential environmental effects be conducted.
It further seeks a declaration that the State has failed to properly transpose part of the EU Directive on EIAs regarding conflicts of interest that allows for EIAs to be screened out of any applications made in relation to proposed development under the 2000 Planning and Development Act.
The group also seeks a stay on the proposed work, pending the outcome of any hearing of their action.
The matter came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan, who adjourned the matter to a date in December. The judge said the application was complicated and would take at least half a day for the court to consider.