Planning Update: Launching Judicial Reviews For Strategic Infrastructure Developments

Author:Ms Deirdre Nagle
Profession:Mason Hayes & Curran

Strategic infrastructure developments

The Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended provides for a special planning application process for strategic infrastructure development (SID). This procedure allows for the local planning authority to be bypassed entirely and the application be made directly to An Bord Pleanála, the Irish State planning appeals board. SID status is afforded to developments which are considered of strategic importance to the State. They most commonly consist of energy infrastructure, transport infrastructure, large housing development and environmental infrastructure projects.

Due to the fact that often these developments are large in scale and complexity, decisions of An Bord Pleanála are challenged on a regular basis by way of judicial review. Applications for consent to launch a judicial review must be made to the High Court.

Practice direction update  

On 2 February 2018, the President of the High Court issued a Practice Direction concerning judicial review applications relating to SIDs. According to the Practice Direction, from 26 February 2018 onwards, all applications for consent to launch a judicial review of permissions or decisions concerning strategic infrastructure developments must only be made to an assigned Judge in the Commercial Court. Applications can be made at 10.30am every Thursday.


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