Judgement reserved in Narconon case
Judgement has been reserved in the High Court case regarding the Narconon drug rehabilitation centre in Ballivor.
Mr Justice Mark Heslin said he would take time to consider the issues in the case of the Narconon Trust versus An Bord Pleanala.
The Narconan Trust is seeking a judicial review of an An Bord Pleanala ruling that they needed planning permission for a change of use at the facility in Ballivor that was originally intended to be used as a nursing home.
Narconon Trust purchased the property in Ballivor after Meath County Council confirmed, in a Section 5 Declaration in September 2016, that planning permission was not required for a change of use from a Nursing Home to a residential drug rehabilitation centre. Consequently, the building was developed as a modern alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre. More than two years later, when construction work on the building was nearly complete, An Bord Pleanala made a contradictory declaration.
Last January (2019), the High Court granted a stay on the Board's declaration and also granted an application for leave to bring judicial review proceedings against An Bord Pleanala.
The High Court also granted an application for leave to bring judicial review proceedings against An Bord Pleanala. The decision of this judicial review was what was under consideration over the last two days.
Claire O'Mara, co-founder of 'Ballivor Says No!' said they were pleased that Mr Justice Noonan has reserved judgement to consider the issue, pointing out that they had
stalled the process further.
Narconon has previously stated the centre would cater for 30 people and 18 staff in a 3,100 sq. meter modern facility.
Narconon has operated drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes for more than 50 years across 18 countries around the world, including in the UK where Narconon has been registered as a charity since 1974.
A spokesperson for the Narconon Trust said: "In a country where the drug crisis is exploding with 65% of Irish professionals reporting some addiction experience, effective drug rehabilitation is urgently needed."