Environmental & Planning: Experience

STRATEGIC INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT/ MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS


  • Transport Infrastructure Ireland on the MetroLink project in Dublin - one of the largest transport infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the State - including shaping the EIAR, NIS and all related planning documents and leading the preparation by the developer for the oral hearing.
  • Irish Water on the Ringsend Waste Water Treatment Plant extension, in which SID planning permission was granted 2019. No judicial review challenge was taken.
  • Irish Water on the Greater Dublin Drainage Scheme Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID) planning application to an Bord Pleanála, which included a 13.7km orbital sewer, 500,000 PE waste water treatment plant, marine outfall (5.4km on land, 5.9km undersea) and a separate waste facility, with issues of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA) arising. JR challenge taken.
  • A consortium of lenders on the original financing and subsequent refinancing of the Dublin Waste to Energy facility, including detailed advices in relation to waste policy, waste licensing, planning consent and the use of CPO powers.
  • ESB/Bord na Móna in successfully obtaining SID planning permission representing their JV company at the oral hearing held by An Bord Pleanála in relation to the 172MW Oweninny windfarm. We subsequently successfully defended two judicial reviews.

STRATEGIC HOUSING DEVELOPMENT


  • Glenveagh Homes for a development at Gort na mBro, Rahoon, Knocknacarra, Galway, comprising 335 residential units, commercial floorspace and 85 car parking spaces.  This includes reviewing an EIAR, an AA Screening Report and a NIS. 
  • Revington Land Limited in respect of the construction of 363 "Build to Rent" apartments, 18 (four bedroom) houses, a student accommodation block (189 bed spaces), a community facilities building in Limerick.  This included reviewing an AA Screening Report and a NIS. 
  • Waterside Block 9 Developments Limited in respect of the construction of 1,008 residential units arranged in three apartment blocks ranging in height from 14 storeys to 45 storeys at City Block 9, at North Wall Quay, Dublin 1.
  • Spencer Place Development Company Limited in respect of the construction of 548 residential units at City Block 2, Spencer Dock, Dublin 1.
  • Marlet Property Group in respect of a number of Strategic Housing Development (SHD) schemes in the Dublin region.

PLANNING


  • Waterfront on issues relative to planning applications for SHD projects in the Dublin North Docks area and subsequent judicial review challenges.
  • Advising several domestic and international developers on the acquisition, development and sale of PRS and "Build to Rent" schemes including Patrizia Immobilien AG, Marlet, Glenveagh and DWS Group.
  • A US private equity fund in a dispute with adjoining land owners arising out of the development of a high profile city centre office development valued in excess of €100m involving novel land right claims.
  • NAMA on planning issues associated with the Poolbeg Strategic Development Zone site.
  • ESB/Bord na Móna in representing their JV company at the oral hearing held by An Bord Pleanála in relation to the largest wind farm project ever proposed in Ireland.
  • Advising developers on making applications seeking substitute consent.

SECTION 160 INJUNCTIONS, NUISANCE ACTIONS


  • Barranafaddock Wind Farm on the defence of s.160 injunction proceedings alleging breach of planning conditions (High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court).
  • Ballycumber Wind Farm in injunction proceedings against objectors seeking to obstruct the construction of the wind farm and in the defence of related trespass proceedings.  We are also acting for the wind farm company which is a notice party in related judicial review proceedings.
  • A wind farm operator in the defence of s.160 proceedings and related noise nuisance proceedings, settled following mediation.
  • The developer of Kilronan Wind Farm in relation to its planning regularisation strategy following the adverse decision of the High Court relative to the status of its grid connection.
  • Multinational retailers and pharmaceutical companies on the taking and defence of nuisance proceedings relative to noise and air pollution.

JUDICIAL REVIEW


  • Irish Water in defending a judicial review challenging An Bord Pleanála's permission to construct the Greater Dublin Drainage Project.
  • Spencer Place Development Company Limited in defending judicial review proceedings taken by Dublin City Council against SHD permission granted by An Bord Pleanála, SID list.
  • Element Power in judicial review proceedings brought by an objector against a decision made by An Bord Pleanála to designate North Meath Windfarm SID under the Planning Acts and the subsequent judicial review challenge against An Bord Pleanála's refusal of planning permission.
  • Knockacummer Wind Farm in its judicial review challenge seeking to overturn a Section 5 determination by An Bord Pleanála relating to its grid connection.
  • Property developer, Longport Developments, in the successful judicial review challenge against a Direction made by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government relative to a Local Area Plan (LAP) which resulted in the rezoning of a residential development site.
  • Irish Water in judicial review proceedings relative to third party challenges brought against decisions made by the EPA.

ONSHORE WIND


  • BlackRock in relation to the sale of Monaincha (36MW) and Garranereagh (9MW) wind farms
  • GE Energy Financial Services on all planning and environmental matters connected with the acquisition of a portfolio of development wind farm projects
  • DNB Bank, Banco Santander, BNP Paribas, SocGen in relation to the planning and environmental aspects of the c. €185m refinancing of the portfolio of in-construction wind farms at Knockacummer, Glentane II and Kill Hills Wind farms (135MW)
  • Luricawne Wind S.a.r.L and Fixarra Limited in relation to all planning and environmental advice for the sale of a portfolio of five windfarms totalling 205MW
  • HG Capital/ Invis Energy in relation to the acquisition, development and financing of the 41MW Leitir Guingaid Wind Farm, the 44MW Knocknagoum Wind Farm and the 65MW Knockduff Wind Farm and the acquisition of a number of other significant wind farm development assets
  • The developer of Kilronan Wind Farm in relation to planning regularisation following the adverse decision of the High Court relative to the status of its grid connection
  • Investors/ purchasers of operational assets/ portfolios in relation to repowering of existing wind farm projects

OFFSHORE WIND


  • Oriel on the development of a 330MW offshore wind farm, allocated Relevant Project status under the proposed MAP/ MPDM legislation. Advising on all aspects of the proposed application for consent including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA).
  • Parkwind N.V. on a joint venture with ESB for the development of the 330MW Oriel offshore windfarm and the 500MW Clogherhead offshore windfarm.
  • An International Offshore Wind Developer on the acquisition of a substantial majority interest in a number of early stage Irish offshore wind projects.
  • A General Electric subsidiary (Arklow Energy Limited) on the development of Arklow Bank Offshore Wind Farm, the first offshore wind farm in Ireland.
  • Codling Wind Park (a JV between EDF and Fred Olsen) on the development of a 900-1,500MW, allocated Relevant Project status under the proposed MAP/ MPDM legislation. Advising on strategic consenting issues including on EIA and AA.

SOLAR AND OTHER RENEWABLES


  • Statkraft Ireland on the acquisition of a 320MW portfolio of in development solar projects in Ireland.
  • The Lenders in respect of the acquisition and construction financing of a c.200MW solar farm which benefits from subsidy support under RESS 1. When built this is likely to be the largest solar PV farm in the State.
  • Energia on the acquisition of two large scale solar projects in Ireland from the developer following a competitive sales process.
  • The Lenders on the portfolio construction financing of 11 solar PV farms being developed by an international renewables infrastructure developer and its Irish JV partner. Each project benefits from support under RESS 1.
  • RBS on the project financing of a large portfolio of domestic solar PV in Northern Ireland as part of a UK wide portfolio.
  • UK Based Solar Developer on the acquisition and subsequent sale of a portfolio of six solar PV assets under development which are located in Dublin, Kildare, Limerick, Wexford and Wicklow.

WASTE


  • Waste companies on issues of compliance and enforcement by EPA and local authorities, and on the defence of civil “clean up” proceedings, and criminal prosecutions.
  • BAM Ireland on issues relating to the classification of soil and stone under Article 27 of the European Communities (Waste Directive) Regulations 2011.
  • A large energy company on "end of waste criteria" and a submission to the EPA on its licence review.
  • A consortium of banks on the original financing and subsequent refinancing of the Dublin Waste to Energy facility, including detailed advices in relation to waste policy, waste licensing, planning consent and the use of CPO powers.
  • Various licensed entities on issues of grant, transfer and surrender of waste licences and waste facility permits including issues of ELRA, CRAMP and financial provision
  • Various companies on issues of WEEE and transfrontier shipment of waste.

INDUSTRIAL, LICENSING AND REGULATORY


  • Ervia in successfully defending judicial review proceedings taken against the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CER as it then was) by Shannon LNG in relation to a tariffing decision taken by the CRU
  • Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board on all Irish law environmental, offshore petroleum safety and planning aspects of the acquisition by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board of Royal Dutch Shell's interest in the Corrib Gas Field.
  • Exola on applications for foreshore licences including advice on EIA and AA and on the defence of judicial review proceedings taken challenging a decision by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to grant a foreshore licence.
  • A company on potential multi-million euro liability under the Environmental Liability Directive.
  • A multinational pharmaceutical manufacturer on EIA and AA issues arising in the context of a planning application and an application for an EPA licence in connection with an expansion of its existing manufacturing facility.