An Bord Pleanála has conceded to the overturning of separate planning permissions for the two Dublin developments in the wake of the alleged conflict of interest of one of its board members.
he permissions related to proposed developments, totalling 748 homes, in Blackrock and Killiney.
The High Court heard on Monday that the planning board was consenting to orders that would overturn its approval for the two proposed Strategic Housing Developments (SHDs) in Killiney and Blackrock.
It is understood the concessions came in response to grounds alleging a conflict of interest in the decisions on the part of the former deputy chair of An Bord Pleanála, Paul Hyde.
Mr Hyde, who has always denied any wrongdoing, resigned from his role in July after facing allegations of conflicts of interest in certain planning decisions.
It has been reported that a senior barrister’s investigation for Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien into several claims of impropriety was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions who has instigated a criminal prosecution against Mr Hyde under the Planning and Development Act.
An Bord Pleanála is understood to have accepted that there would be a reasonable apprehension that objective bias may arise in both Dublin decisions.
Eight locals had challenged the board’s permission granted to Atlas Gp Limited for 255 apartments and houses off Church Road in Killiney.
In legal documents, the residents claimed Mr Hyde was a member of the panel that approved the development despite his brother being a partner in an engineering firm that allegedly conducted a report on the Killiney scheme.
The other challenge concerned the board’s permission for the development of 493 residential units at the site of St Teresa’s House, in Temple Hill, Blackrock.
The €200m apartment scheme was proposed by Oval Target Limited, whose two directors Paddy McKillen Jnr and Matthew Ryan are major shareholders in the Press Up hospitality group.
Local groups Avondale Court Residents, Residents of St Vincent’s Park, and 15 individual residents claimed in their action that Mr Hyde and another An Bord Pleanála official granted permission for the Blackrock scheme despite allegedly having conflicts of interest in the project.
The court previously instructed the applicants to remove references to the other planning board official as the judge said they had failed to adequately present the allegations against her.
The residents alleged the engineering firm his brother is involved in was hired as consultants for the development.
Mr Hyde denies any wrongdoing.
On Monday, Stephen Dodd SC, instructed by FP Logue solicitor Eoin Brady, representing the applicants in both sets of proceedings, told the court that the board was conceding in the matters.
The court also heard on Monday that An Bord Pleanála would not be contesting another judicial review, brought by a local community group, concerning planning permission for 333 homes on a greenfield site on the outskirts of Clane, Co Kildare.
Mr Dodd, instructed by Mr Brady, said the board had conceded in the challenge brought by his client, Clane Community Council. It is understood the concession relates to a ground about public transport.
This case did not contain any conflict of interest allegations.
Mr Justice Richard Humpherys adjourned all three cases, which will be mentioned next month.