Judicial Review Notice
Judicial review of An Bord Pleanála decisions under the provisions of the Planning and Development Acts (as amended).
A person wishing to challenge the validity of a Board decision may do so by way of judicial review only. Sections 50, 50A and 50B of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as substituted by section 13 of the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006, as amended/substituted by sections 32 and 33 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 and as amended by sections 20 and 21 of the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011) contain provisions in relation to challenges to the validity of a decision of the Board.
The validity of a decision taken by the Board may only be questioned by making an application for judicial review under Order 84 of The Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No. 15 of 1986). Sub-section 50(6) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 requires that subject to any extension to the time period which may be allowed by the High Court in accordance with subsection 50(8), any application for judicial review must be made within 8 weeks of the decision of the Board. It should be noted that any challenge taken under section 50 may question only the validity of the decision and the Courts do not adjudicate on the merits of the development from the perspectives of the proper planning and sustainable development of the area and/or effects on the environment. Section 50A states that leave for judicial review shall not be granted unless the Court is satisfied that there are substantial grounds for contending that the decision is invalid or ought to be quashed and that the applicant has a sufficient interest in the matter which is the subject of the application or in cases involving environmental impact assessment is a body complying with specified criteria.
Section 50B contains provisions in relation to the cost of judicial review proceedings in the High Court relating to specified types of development (including proceedings relating to decisions or actions pursuant to a law of the state that gives effect to the public participation and access to justice provisions of Council Directive 85/337/EEC i.e. the EIA Directive and to the provisions of Directive 2001/12/EC i.e. Directive on the assessment of the effects on the environment of certain plans and programmes). The general provision contained in section 50B is that in such cases each party shall bear its own costs. The Court however may award costs against any party in specified circumstances. There is also provision for the Court to award the costs of proceedings or a portion of such costs to an applicant against a respondent or notice party where relief is obtained to the extent that the action or omission of the respondent or notice party contributed to the relief being obtained.
General information on judicial review procedures is contained on the following website, www.citizensinformation.ie.
Disclaimer: The above is intended for information purposes. It does not purport to be a legally binding interpretation of the relevant provisions and it would be advisable for persons contemplating legal action to seek legal advice.