High Court reporters
The owner of a well-known estate in Co Cavan has successfully resolved his High Court challenge against An Bord Pleanala’s decision to allow an agri-food plant to extend its manufacturing facility.
John Morehart who owns the historic Bellamont Castle, in Cootehill, Co Cavan and surrounding 1000 acres of land, had challenged the board’s decision to allow Abbott Ireland to extend its facility in Dromore Co Monaghan.
The company, which makes milk products for infants at its facility, wanted to expand its laboratory, office space, car park and warehouse facilities.
Monaghan Co Council had granted permission for the extension, which was appealed by both Mr Morehart and An Taisce to An Bord Pleanála.
Last year the board dismissed the appeal and gave Abbott the go-ahead to proceed with the proposed expansion.
Mr Morehart brought High Court judicial review proceedings seeking to have the board’s decision quashed.
The court had granted Mr Morehart permission to bring his challenge, and a date for the hearing of his action remained pending.
When the matter was mentioned before the court this week Evan O’Donnell Bl instructed by Harrington solicitors, for Mr Morehart told Mr Justice Charles Meenan that the board had conceded the case.
It was agreed between the parties that the court could make a formal order quashing the board’s decision, counsel added.
Both Abbott Ireland and Monaghan Co Council were notice parties to the proceedings.
In his action Mr Morehart, whose property is located approximately 1 km from Abbott’s facility in Dromore claimed that the board’s decision was flawed on several grounds.
Among the alleged flaws were that the board had failed to consider the proposed development in the context of its obligations under the EU Environmental Impact Assessment.
It was also claimed that an EIA of the proposed development should have been carried out, because the facility will process over 100 tonnes of raw material per day.
It is further claimed that the board acted contrary to the EU Directive on Habitats in its determination of the application.