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High Court Quashes Decision To Grant Planning Permission For Guesthouse In Co. Meath Gaeltacht

Published on Nov 18 2021 9:56 AM in Hotel tagged: Trending Posts / An Bord Pleanala / High Court / Ráth Chairn Gaeltacht / Comharchumann Ráth Chairn

High Court Quashes Decision To Grant Planning Permission For Guesthouse In Co. Meath Gaeltacht

The High Court has quashed a decision to grant planning permission for a guesthouse and 30 houses in the Ráth Chairn Gaeltacht in Co. Meath.


As reported by The Irish Times, Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon quashed the decision on the grounds that she was not satisfied that the proposed development complied with requirements to show that it would enhance the use of the Irish language in the area.

The action was reportedly brought against permission granted by An Bord Pleanála in June of 2020 for the planned development on a site between the local primary school and community centre.

The challenge to An Bord Pleanála's decision was reportedly brought by Comharchumann Ráth Chairn, which is reportedly a local development co-operative that is charged with implementing a language plan to increase the amount of Irish in the area.

Seamás Ó Tuathail SC, with Dáithí MacCárthaigh, instructed by Colm McGeehin of Prospect Law solicitors, for the co-operative, reportedly claimed that An Bord Pleanála had erred in not holding that a language impact statement (LIS) submitted on behalf of the developer, Colm Griffin, from Ráth Chairn, was inadequate.

It was reportedly claimed that the author of the LIS had no qualifications in language planning or social linguistics and that the LIS is inadequate for reasons including it underestimated the numbers who speak Irish in the locality.

It was reportedly also claimed that a planning condition that 70% of the 30 houses be provided for Irish speakers "unless otherwise agreed by the developer and the council" amounted to an unauthorised delegation of An Bord Pleanála's powers.

It was reportedly further alleged that the rights of the applicant as a linguistic minority have been violated, particularly the right not to be assimilated.

An Bord Pleanála reportedly denied the claims and had reportedly opposed the group's action.

Judge's Ruling

Ms Justice O'Hanlon reportedly said in her judgement that she was satisfied to make an order quashing the decision.

The judge reportedly said that she was not satisfied that an analysis carried out by a planning consultant on behalf of the developer was sufficient to clearly show that the proposed development would enhance the use of the Irish language in the Co. Meath Gaeltacht.

The court reportedly added that proposed developments in Gaeltacht areas are required under national and local planning requirements to show that they must increase the use of the Irish language.

However, in this case, the court was reportedly not satisfied that it had been proven that the proposed development would comply with such requirements contained in the County Meath Development plan in regards to the Ráth Chairn area.

The judge reportedly also awarded the applicants their legal costs of the action.

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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