"Agencies of the State got involved on the side of the developer, rather than on the side of the community. Given that alternative models were available in other countries, it was scandalous that we proceeded as we did. It reveals the mindset of certain people. I am reminded of the woman who was sent to jail in New York, who said that taxes are for small people. In this case, it seems that planning is not for big people…….
I refer again to the notion that some projects are too big for public accountability and transparency in planning. I am not making accusations that I cannot support."
A MAN has lost a bid to have either the Supreme Court or the European Court of Justice decide legal issues arising from his unsuccessful bid to bring a legal challenge to the granting of planning permission for a gas terminal in connection with the Corrib gas field.
Ms Justice Fidelma Macken yesterday decided there were no points of law of exceptional public importance requiring determination in the public interest arising from her July 2005 decision refusing to permit Martin Harrington bring a judicial review challenge to An Bord Pleanála’s granting of permission to Shell for the gas terminal.
She refused an application by Mr Harrington to have a number of matters referred for determination by either the Supreme Court or European Court of Justice.Mr Harrington, of Geesala, Ballina, Co Mayo, lives 20 miles from the proposed terminal.
In her July 2005 judgment, Ms Justice Macken found Mr Harrington had not established any substantial grounds for the bringing of judicial review proceedings and she refused leave to bring proceedings against An Bord Pleanála and the State, with Shell E and P Ltd and Mayo Co Council named as notice parties. Mr Harrington had argued the Board had failed, prior to granting permission, to ensure it had all the information it was required to have in accordance with a 1996 EC Directive relating to the control of major accident hazards involving dangerous substances. However, the judge found this claim did not constitute “substantial grounds” justifying the granting of leave to bring the action.In her decision yesterday, Ms Justice Macken said some of the arguments advanced indicated an incorrect interpretation of aspects of her judgment last year. These included Mr Harrington not showing any substantial grounds to support his claim that her judgment of 2005 included definitive rulings on aspects of the 1996 Directive.In those circumstances, no issues arose which required a referral to the European Court of Justice.