Blessington Lakes walking and cycling track plan challenged in High Court

Action taken against Wicklow County Council by local resident and sailing club

Courts reporting service


Courts reporting service


Blessington Lakes walking and cycling track plan challenged in High Court

Poulaphouca, file shot

A High Court challenge has been launched against Wicklow County Council's decision to allow a track for pedestrians and cyclists be developed around Blessington Lakes. 

The action has been brought by local resident Brian Kingham and Blessington Sailing Club on grounds including the Council's decision to give the track the go ahead breaches EU requirements to carry out an Appropriate Assessment of the proposed development.  

In their action, they seek a High Court order quashing the Council's decision of July 3, 2017, which allows a new track, made of crushed stone, be constructed on a route following the shoreline of the Blessington Lakes.

The proposed track will include some 100 new culverts, 18 bridges over larger streams and fencing and some minor landscaping will be required.

The permission also allows for the upgrading of existing tracks around the lake.  

Those works will include the excavation of a track, laying of geotextile membrane with a surface layer comprised of crushed limestone.

The applicants, represented in court by Michael O'Donnell Bl, seek declarations including that the Council did not comply with their obligations under the 2000 Planning and Development Act.

They also seek a declaration that the council failed to apply the appropriate test under the EU Habitats Directive. 

They further seek declarations that the proposed development involves a material contravention of the Wicklow Development Plan. 

Permission to bring the challenge has granted, on an ex parte basis where only one side was present in court, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan. 

The Judge made the action returnable to a date in December.