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  • The High Court has quashed the decision of An Bord Pleanala to grant permission for a windfarm development in Co. Clare following a case taken by a third party appellant. The High Court ruled that the Planning and Development Act requires that notice be given to the applicant, any person who made submissions, and any party to an appeal or referral, that a determination has been made that an appropriate assessment is required, complete with reasons as to why – but An Bord Pleanála failed to give reasons.

    Also, the High Court ruled that the An Bord Pleanala determination as to whether a development would adversely impact the integrity of a European site (appropriate assessment) was generic and amounted to only an assertion that ‘Having considered all the material put in front of it, the Board has reached the following conclusion…’. It did not satisfy the legal requirement, as established under Kelly v. An Bord Pleanála [2014] IEHC 400, which found that reasons must be given to enable interested parties and courts to assess the lawfulness of the decision. The Court found that “what is required of An Bord Pleanála are complete, precise and definitive findings and conclusions of a degree of specificity sufficient that a party minded to seek judicial review of such determination can turn readily to the particular observations, reasoning or conclusions in, say, a particular report or text to which reference is made, rather than simply being told that somewhere in an ocean of documentation is some stream of logic that An Bord Pleanála favours”.

    The result of this High Court decision is that Orders issued by An Bord Pleanala are now likely to be more detailed with very precise reasoning included, particularly in respect of appropriate assessment. Given the limited number of persons on the Board and the time involved in drafting such Orders this will place more pressure on the Board and possibly delay other decisions longer.

    Published on June 22, 2016 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: , , ,
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