AN ORDER made by former minister for the environment John Gormley, which directed councillors in South Dublin to change the zoning on land at Carrickmines, is likely to be reversed at a meeting tonight.
The move follows on from a court case when development company Tristor Ltd challenged the legality of Mr Gormley’s order.
The Park Village lands at Carrickmines, close to the M50, had been rezoned to district centre by councillors in the course of drafting the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Development Plan 2010-2016. District centre status would have allowed for greater development at the site.
But an order from Mr Gormley, made in March 2010, directed councillors to reverse the rezoning and return the site to neighbourhood centre status, which allows for smaller development.
In a very tight vote, councillors voted to accept the minister’s order. Tristor then took a judicial review of the decision and last November, the High Court ruled the minister had acted outside his powers and the council was no longer bound by his order.
Mr Justice Frank Clarke directed the council to reconsider the area development plan in light of its findings.
Tonight councillors will discuss legal advice provided by senior counsel Conleth Bradley.
In a document circulated to councillors in advance of the meeting, Mr Bradley advised that councillors had “no discretion to re-debate” the zoning of the land.
“The elected members are required to adopt a resolution, which reflects the lawful position prior to the invalid ministerial direction and nothing else,” he said.
The resolution, provided by county manager Owen Keegan, will effectively return the site to district centre status.
Meanwhile, Green Party TD Ciarán Cuffe has called on councillors to reject a proposal that would allow a retirement village to go ahead at the foot of the Dublin mountains, at Ticknock near Sandyford.
“Some councillors believe that we should revert to the short-term ‘all development is good development’ mantra of the past regardless of where it is located,” he said.
But local resident Fiona Capaldi said her father, who suffered a stroke last year, was in need of such a facility. She urged councillors to vote for it.
“If they developed a retirement village there it would give my parents and others like them some choice,” she said.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Council expected to reverse Gormley on zoning - The Irish Times - Mon, Feb 14, 2011