New Appeal: Supreme Court grants second appeal on An Bórd Pleanála’s duty to give reasons for its decisions

In this determination (North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group v An Bórd Pleanála ), the Supreme Court granted the North Kerry Group leave to appeal against the High Court’s (McGovern J) refusal to overturn An Bórd Pleanála’s grant of planning permission for a wind farm.

 

Background

In 2014, Kerry County Council refused the Notice Party planning permission to construct a wind farm. The Notice Party lodged an appeal with An Bórd Pleanála. Although the proposed development breached the county development plan, in 2016, the Bórd granted permission for the wind farm, stating reasons. The North Kerry Group issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court seeking to have the Bórd’s decision quashed. McGovern J (here) rejected that application and later refused the North Kerry Group’s application for leave to appeal under s 50 of the Planning and Development Act.

The North Kerry Group applied to the Supreme Court for leave for a leapfrog appeal. One of the grounds of appeal was that the Bórd failed to give adequate reasons for its decision. In Connelly v An Bórd Pleanála (post) the Court granted the Bórd leave to appeal against the High Court’s (Barrett J) quashing of its decision to grant planning permission for a wind farm, for failure to give adequate reasons for the decision. And in Holohan v An Bórd Pleanála, the High Court (Humphrey J) made a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union on, among other issues, the duty of  a competent authority to give reasons for its decisions, subject to the Council Directive 92/43/EEC (Habitats Directive).

Granting leave, the Court stated:

9. … having regard to the decision of the Court to grant leave in the case of Connelly v An Bórd Pleanála (see [2017] IESCDET 57), and to the reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union in Holohan, the Court will grant leave to this applicant on the question whether in all the circumstances of the case the reasoning and analysis of the Board was sufficient.

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