High Court rejects challenge to 121-home plan in Co Galway

Scheme was opposed by management firm representing neighbouring estate in Barna

The High Court has rejected a challenge to an approved plan for 121 homes in Barna, Co Galway.

The challenge was brought by Heather Hill Management Company CLG, which represents residents of the neighbouring Cnoc Fraoigh housing estate.

Burkeway Homes Ltd was granted permission by An Bord Pleanála for the development – comprising 52 houses, 69 apartments, a creche and a linear park – on a 5.3-hectare site. The park and a creche will be on what is essentially the floodplain of the Trusky East stream.

The residents claimed the development represented a different, more intense, form of development than Cnoc Fraoigh. They also believe it would adversely impact the amenity of their homes.


They said it would not comply with environmental requirements, especially, though not only, in relation to flooding.

They also claimed the planning permission was invalid because it imposed conditions relating to sewerage works that the developer cannot comply with because it does not have legal title to the lands in question or the consent of the landowner, roads authority or water services authorities affected to carry them out.

Their challenge was against An Bord Pleanála, Ireland, the Attorney General and the Minister for Housing. Burkeway Homes was a notice party.

They opposed the challenge and disputed the residents’ claims.


In a judgment, Mr Justice David Holland dismissed the residents’ challenge.

Among his findings, he rejected claims that Burkeway did not have adequate consents to build on the property before it made its planning application. Any dispute as to the beneficial ownership of roads in the Cnoc Fraoigh estate were a matter for the Circuit Court, not the High Court, he said.

He also rejected an allegation that there was a material contravention of the Barna plan based on alleged failure to apply 2009 flood guidelines.

He further rejected the challenge based on alleged inadequacy of environmental impact assessment or appropriate assessment as to the risk of sewage pollution of the Trusky East stream by reason of failure of or flooding of both sewage pumps and associated emergency storage tank.