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Distillery Quarter, Strategic Housing Development, is one of the decisions the senior counsel will be reviewing. Distillery Quarter

Inquiry into An Bord Pleanála's deputy chair to review three planning decisions

Senior counsel Remy Farrell has six weeks to carry out his report.

THE TERMS OF reference of the investigation of planning decisions made by the deputy chair of An Bord Pleanála (ABP) Paul Hyde have been published. 

The investigation, which will be led by senior counsel Remy Farrell, will provide his opinion on three planning decisions.

Firstly, a decision of An Bord Pleanála made in relation to a proposed Strategic Housing Development (SHD) at Distillery Quarter, North City Link Road, Blackpool, Co Cork. 

ABP was the decision-maker for SHDs, however the initiative is currently being phased out.

Under fast-track planning laws introduced in late-2016, proposed developments of over 100 units could bypass city planners and go straight to ABP for a decision.

The second probe will be into the decision of An Bord Pleanála in relation to a proposed development at Gilford Park, Sandymount, Dublin. 

Decisions reached by An Bord Pleanála in relation to a proposed development at Castlelake, Terrysland, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork will also be investigated. 

The review will further seek to determine whether the Hyde was no longer a member of the board under the Planning Act 2000, which states a person shall cease to be an ordinary member of the board if he or she “makes a composition or arrangement with creditors”.

The terms of reference set out that Farrell will report back in six weeks time. 

In carrying out the work, the terms of reference note that Farrell will have discretion in relation to the scope of his examination to any matters of concern “he considers necessary and appropriate”.

It sets out that any findings will be brought to the attention of Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien.

Farrell is also permitted to interview any Board member or staff member of An Bord Pleanála, or any other individual he deems appropriate for the purposes of completing his report.

He may also make recommendations in his final report.

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