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Residents win the first round of legal fight over €15m Hell Fire centre

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The Hell Fire club beauty spot

The Hell Fire club beauty spot

The Hell Fire club beauty spot

Residents near Dublin's Hell Fire club have succeeded in the first stage of their High Court battle against a €15m visitor centre at the beauty spot.

The Hellfire Massy Residents Association (HMRA) wants to overturn planning permission for the centre in the Dublin mountains at the Massy's Wood estate and Montpelier Hill.

The site includes the Hell Fire club, a national monument dating to around 1725.

At the court yesterday Mr Justice Richard Humphreys granted the residents permission to seek a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála's decision.

They want orders quashing approval granted last June for a visitors' centre, car park and associated works at Montpelier Hill.

The HMRA claims the proposed development will, if built, function as a visitor's hub for the Dublin and Wicklow mountains and will alter the type and numbers of visitors who arrive to see Montpelier Hill, the Natura 2000 sites nearby and Massy's wood across the road.

The HMRA said it is not opposed to development on Montpelier Hill but said the development will have "profound" environmental consequences.

Bats

Residents claim the board, in granting permission, failed to consider the centre's effects on natural habitats, bats, red squirrels, otters and the marsh fritillary butterfly.

The case was adjourned and will be back before the court later this year.


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