An Bord Pleanala update

This post recaps and updates the position of the latest planning application by Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd for the former Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour.

In January 2022 Bartra submitted a “new” planning application for the Bullock site to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. The application was similar in almost every respect to the former planning proposal of 2017/2018 and was duly refused by DLR. Bartra appealed this refusal to An Bord Pleanala. Bullock Harbour Preservation Association (BHPA) in a countermove also submitted an appeal to ABP, seeking to strengthen and provide additional reasons to DLR’s grounds for refusal. A number of supporters submitted observations to ABP in relation to both appeals. BHPA sought an oral hearing of their appeal by the Bord but this was refused.

An Bord Pleanala has now written to those who made observations to advise that, owing to a backlog of cases currently in hand, they are unable to process the appeals within the statutory 18 weeks and advise a new deadline of 24 October 2022. We anticipate that further deferrals may occur.

Supporters will be aware that allegations have been made of a conflict of interest on the part of the former vice chair of An Bord Pleanala, Paul Hyde. If you missed the extensive press coverage, we can direct you to Mick Clifford’s articles in the Examiner in May and in June. There are also copious articles on aspects of various ABP decisions in The Ditch website.

BHPA understands that previous decisions are not being re-examined by the Bord. However, under the circumstances, it has seemed reasonable to us to write to the chair of the Bord requesting information on the detail of the decision to award planning permission for the previous Bartra planning application – that’s the decision which led to our request for a Judicial Review in 2019. You will recall that in July 2020 the Bord decided not to defend this case before the JR could proceed. We await a response.

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