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Developer Pat Crean. Photography: Jason Clark
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The eight Killini residents who will apply to the High Court this week for permission to overturn the strategic housing development permit claimed that the three actions taken by the developers against them were "extraordinary" intimidation attempts.
Developer Pat Crean's company Atlas GP dismissed these claims and insisted that its high court lawsuit was legal and was taken for reasons such as protecting its good reputation.
Since residents questioned An Bord Pleanála's approval to develop a 255-unit development project on Church Road in Killiney in July last September, the company has accepted three cases.
Atlas is the notifying party of the resident's lawsuit and has issued a lawsuit against all eight persons suspected of defamating the company, asking local people to donate to help raise 60,000 euros to fund the litigation of the development project.
The company claimed that the flyer was issued by the "Watson Killiney Residents Association" and contained false and inaccurate statements about Atlas, which, among other things, meant that it was an irresponsible developer. Allegedly, the eight residents are authors, or have contacts with the authors and/or are responsible for the publication and distribution of the leaflets.
In the second case, which also targeted all eight people, Atlas hoped that the injunction would restrict any steps in the judicial review because it allegedly violated the medieval principle of lodgement and maintenance (designed to prevent disinterested parties from getting involved litigation). Atlas claims that judicial review is funded by a third party who has no legitimate interest in the proceedings.
Its third case was against two of the eight people, alleging that the November 2000 restrictive contract prevented the two individuals from questioning the license and seeking damages for alleged breach of the contract.
FP Logue Solicitors, representing residents, claimed that Atlas' litigation was of strategic significance and was an example of "Strategic Action Against Public Participation" (Slapp), used in the United States and elsewhere to prevent environmental and other challenges.
The company’s lawyer Eoin Brady stated in the affidavit that he believes that the sole purpose of issuing a "special" lawsuit is to "intimidate my clients because they are seeking judicial review."
Leman Solicitors, representing Atlas, strongly rejected this claim.
The eight residents, including a woman in her 90s, live on Church Road and Watson Road in Killiney. They are not opposed to the 102-unit smaller development license that Atlas obtained in 2018, but they are opposed to the larger 255-unit development that is now licensed.
Their judicial review application for permission will be heard in the High Court on Tuesday. Atlas' application for an injunction to stop their case will be heard in February, and residents will also seek to cancel Atlas's proceedings on the grounds of suspected abuse of procedures.
In court documents, Mr. Kling stated that the “important background” of judicial review is “a housing crisis that can only be resolved by increasing the state’s housing supply”.
He said, “If the planning committee’s decision is easily shelved by the applicant and relies on legal points that have little or no relation to their actual complaints, then the ability to supply housing will be completely undermined.”
He said that residents stated that they are happy to develop in accordance with the 2018 license, but some of their judicial review reasons apply to the 2018 license, while other reasons are “general” in nature and have appeared in other jurisdictions. Under review.
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