Klohn v an Bord Pleanála

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMr. Justice de Valera,Mr. Justice Bryan McMahon
Docket Number[2004 No. 544
Date23 April 2008
KLOHN v BORD PLEANALA

BETWEEN

VOLKMAR KLOHN
APPLICANT

AND

AN BORD PLEANÁLA
RESPONDENT

AND

SLIGO COUNTY COUNCIL AND MALONEY AND MATTHEWS ANIMAL COLLECTION LIMITED
NOTICE PARTIES

[2007] IEHC 244

[No. 544 JR/2004]

THE HIGH COURT

Abstract:

Planning and environmental - Judicial review - Leave - Substantial grounds and substantial interest - Environmental impact statement - Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 97/11/EC - European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment)

Regulations 1989-2000 - Planning and Development Act 2000, s. 50(4)(b) - Planning and Development Regulations 2001, S.I. 600/2001

The applicant applied for leave to apply for judicial review of a decision of an Bord Pleanala on the grounds inter alia that the Environmental Impact Statement submitted with the application failed to comply with the mandatory requirements in Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 97/11/EC and with the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1989

2000 and/ or the Planning and Development Regulations 2001.

Held by de Valera J. in granting leave that the applicant had established substantial grounds and substantial interest as required by s. 50(4)(b) of the Planning and Development Act 2000.

Reporter: R.W

1

JUDMENT of Mr. Justice de Valera delivered the 31st day of July, 2007.

2

This is an application for leave to apply by way of Judicial Review for reliefs sought at paragraph (d) of the statement required to ground an application for judicial review herein in relation to a decision of An Bord Pleanála dated 30th April, 200, to grant, subject to conditions, planning permission for a development consisting of a collection centre for dead/fallen animals and ancillary facilities, at Anchonry, Tubbercurry, County Sligo and which application bears the ref. no. 03/717.

3

Paragraph (d) of the Statement required to ground an application for judicial review states the reliefs sought as follows:

4

(i) An Order of Certiorari quashing the decision of the respondent on planning application ref. no. 03/717; An Bord Pleanála ref. no. PL21.205540, to grant planning permission for a proposed development described as a fallen animal collection and processing facility at Anchonry, Tubbercurry, County Sligo.

5

(ii) Further and other relief.

6

(iii) Interim and/or interlocutory relief.

7

(iv) A stay on the implementation of the permission ref. no. 03/717 pending the determination of these proceedings.

8

(v) Further and other relief.

9

(vi) The costs of these proceedings.

10

The grounds on which the application is being made are:-

11

(i) The proposed development was of such nature and extent as to require the submission of an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") and to be the subject matter of an environmental impact assessment by the respondent. Arising from the aforesaid requirement, the application was required to be accompanied by an EIS which was required to comply with the requirements under Council Directive 85/337/EEC and 97/11/EC and with the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1989 - 2000 and/or the Planning and Development Act, 2000 and Regulations made thereunder, and in particular the provisions of the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 ( S.I. No. 600 of 2001). The EIS submitted with the application failed to comply with the mandatory requirements contained in the statutory scheme and the said Directives, and in those circumstances was not capable of meeting the requirements of the aforesaid provisions and could not be the subject matter of a proper, environmental impact assessment by the respondent.

12

(ii) The said EIS does not contain information specified in paragraph 1 of Schedule 6 of the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 ( S.I. No. 600 of 2001) as required by Article 94 of the said Regulations in so far as -

13

(a) The EIS did not contain any or any adequate outline of the main alternatives studied by the developer and/or any or any adequate indication of the main reasons for the developer's choice of project.

14

(iii) The said EIS did not contain information relating to the inter-relationship between the factors referred to in the first three indents in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 2 of Schedule 6 of the said Regulations of 2001, as required by Article 94 thereof. The said information was relevant to the consent procedure and to the specific characteristics of the development project or to the environmental features likely to be affected. The developer could reasonably have been required to compile such information having regard, among other things, to current knowledge and methods of assessment. Whilst a short paragraph appeared at the end of the non-technical summary of the EIS which purported to address the inter-relationship between the factors referred to, the information contained therein was totally uninformative and non-site specific and did not comply with the requirements of Article 94 in that regard, or the relevant provisions of the new Directives on Environmental Assessment.

15

(iv) The consequence of the failure of the said EIS to comply with the requirements of Article 94 of the said Regulations of 2001 in one or more of the respects as set out above, the respondent did not have power to determine the subject planning application pursuant to Section 3% and/or Section 34 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, the relevant provisions whereof provide that An Bord Pleanála may only decide to grant a permission in circumstances where all requirements of the Regulations are complied with. The applicant will rely specifically on the provisions of Section 34(1) of the Plan and Development Act, 2000 in this regard.

16

(v) The said decision of the respondent is invalid by reason of the failure of the respondent to carry out an environmental impact assessment in accordance with the requirements of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 and Regulations made thereunder. In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing Article 13 of the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 provides that where an appeal involves an EIS and the Board considers any submission, observation, document, particulars or other information submitted to it in response to a request or, a requirement of the Board contains significant additional information on the effects on the environment of a proposed development, the Board shall publish in at least one approved newspaper, a notice stating that; (a) significant additional information on the effects on the environment of the proposed development has been furnished to the board, and (b) that the further information will be available for inspection or for purchase, at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, during office hours at the offices of the Board or such other place as the Board may specify and that a submission or observation on the further information may be made in writing to the Board within a specified period on payment of the appropriate fee. By implication and when considered in the light of the objectives of Council Directive 85/337/EEC and Council Directive 97/11/EC, the said Article requires the respondent to address the question as to whether any such submission, observation, document, particulars or other information contained in the significant additional information on the effects on the environment of the proposed development. In so far as such information was contained in the submissions of the notice party received by the respondent on the 16th February, 2004, and the 25th March, 2004, respectively, the respondent was obliged to consider this question, but failed to do so and as a consequence failed to publish a notice in the form required by Article 113 of the said Regulations of 2001.

17

(vi) The respondent Planning Appeals Board failed to consider the said planning application in accordance with fair procedures and in the light of the principle of audi alteram partem. The second named notice party lodged an application for planning permission grounded upon plans and other documents which set out the nature and extent of the proposed development. This application was refused permission by Sligo County Council and on the basis of those plans and documentation, the unincorporated association of which the Applicant is a member made their submissions to the respondent Planning Appeals Board. On the 16th February, 2004, and the 25th March, 2004, the second named notice party materially modified their proposal and these modifications were expressly incorporated into condition no. 1 of the said permission which condition refers to the documentation amending the application lodged with the planning authority. The applicant and/or his group were never circulated with these submissions, were not afforded any opportunity to make submissions or representations in respect of the modifications contained therein and were not afforded an opportunity to properly participate in the appeal process. Specifically, these matters, which were crucial to the determination of the said decision of the respondent to grant permission, notwithstanding the recommendation by refusal of the inspector, were on the basis of no upholding arguments on behalf of the applicant/the applicant's group, and in those circumstances the decision offends against the principle of fair procedures, natural and constitutional justice and audi alteram partem.

18

(vii) The respondent erred in law in accepting significant additional information without any corresponding amendment/analysis of the submitted documentation in the EIS. Accordingly, the respondent could not have properly cared out an environmental impact assessment as the EIS lodged with the planning application did not adequately or accurately reflect the nature...

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