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Legal challenge brought over decision to pedestrianise part of Malahide Village

The pedestrianisation aimed to facilitate outdoor dining but has led to criticism.

The pedestrianisation of New Street, Malahide, came into effect earlier this month. File photograph
The pedestrianisation of New Street, Malahide, came into effect earlier this month. File photograph
Image: Shutterstock/Irene Fox

A HIGH COURT challenge has been brought against Fingal Co Counci’s decision to pedestrianise part of Malahide Village in north Co Dublin.

In late May the council made a decision to pedestrianise New Street, in Malahide, which came into effect over the June Bank Holiday weekend, aimed at aiding open air dining.

However, company director Nicola Byrne, who lives in nearby Old Street, claims that the council’s decision is flawed and should be set aside as it lacks the legal authority to implement the development.

She claims that the plan will result in additional traffic being put onto narrow unsuitable streets in Malahide, which were supposed to be prioritised for cycling and walking.

She claims that the pedestrianisation does not form part of the Fingal County Council Development Plan nor the Malahide Public Realm Strategy adopted by the Council.

Represented by Alan Doyle Bl, Byrne had objected, on her own behalf and a range of other businesses and residents in Malahide, to the council’s proposal when it was first made public on 10 May last.

The street had been pedestrianised between June and November 2020, which it is claimed the council deemed a failure.

During the period it is claimed the pedestrianisation resulted in significant complaints to the Gardai of alleged anti-social behaviour by gangs of youths drinking and doing bicycle stunts.

In addition, businesses in Malahide claimed the pedestrianisation resulted in lost business.

It is also claimed that the nature of the works proposed as part of the overall pedestrianisation proposal are likely to have a significant effect on the environment.

An appropriate screening of the proposal should have but has not been carried out it is claimed.

In her judicial review action against the Council and the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Ireland and the Attorney General Byrne seeks various orders and declarations.

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These include order quashing the local’ authorities’ decision to pedestrianise New Street, and declarations that the decision is invalid.

Permission to bring the challenge was granted on an ex-parte basis by Justice Charles Meenan.

The judge made the action returnable to a date in October.

The court heard that the parties are in discussion about an application by Byrne for a stay on the decision, which Byrne’s lawyers hope to have heard in the coming weeks.

The court heard that the council intends to oppose any application for a stay.

About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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