Constitutional, Jurisdiction, Standing, Evidence
The Applicants sought an order declaring that in adopting a development plan for the county of Meath, the Respondent failed to have "due regard" to the strategic planning guidelines for the greater Dublin area and that in consequence the plan was void and of no effect. They also sought an order quashing the Respondent's decision to adopt the plan. High Court ordered the successful Respondent to pay part of Applicant's costs in a case involving the planning dispute, as there was a public interest element and the Respondent had contested facts which should have been agreed. In deviating from the "costs follow the event" norm, the Court had regard to R (on the application of CPAG) -v- Lord Chancellor's Department [1998] EWHC Admin 151. The proceedings raised public law issues which were of general importance. The Applicants had no private interest in the outcome. This therefore comprised a "public interest challenge". The Respondents had considerably lengthened proceedings by contesting facts which could easily have been agreed upon. Hoigh Court noted that whether applicants are acting in the public interest is to be analysed on a case-by-case basis.