Judical Review


A major element of William Orbinson QC’s practice is pursuing and defending planning and environmental judicial reviews, and advising developers on how to safeguard their permissions against judicial review

Published by SLS Legal Publications (NI), Mr Orbinson’s ‘Planning and Judicial Review’ 2009 drew on his extensive experience of the judicial review court, as does his publication with Fionnuala Connolly BL, “Planning and Judicial Review Case Studies 1976 – 2016’, published by Planning Online

The 2018 Update for Planning and Judicial Review: Case Summaries 1976-2016 was published in June 2018 by Planning Online and contains summaries of all the planning judicial review decisions given between 2016 and June 2018

In 2019, Mr Orbinson intends to publish an update to his 2009 ‘Planning and Judicial Review’, focussing on the applicable legal principles and case law

His judicial reviews include:

  • various challenges to draft development plans grounded on breach of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive
  • various challenges to the major ‘John Lewis’ development at Sprucefield
  • defending the SEAT challenge to the North-South Interconnector inquiry, for NIE
  • defending the Donnelly challenges to the Omagh Minerals gold mine permissions
  • challenges to the PAC’s refusals of permission for the Mullaghturk and Altgolan wind farms
  • the challenge to the PAC ruling in the Hyde appeal
  • challenges relating to Tamboran’s hydraulic fracturing proposals in Fermanagh
  • the Corbo Properties challenge to competing major retail development at Boucher Place


  • the Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade challenge to the Carbane Way major out of centre retail development
  • the Malone Ridge challenge to the decision not to withdraw a Stop Notice on residential development
  • defending the Friends of the Earth challenge against the decision not to issue a Stop Notice preventing sand extraction in Lough Neagh, for The Shaftesbury Estate
  • the Diocese of Dromore challenge to the permission for a media screen beside listed Newry Cathedral
  • the Kelvin Properties challenge to the refusal of planning permission by the PAC for the ‘Home Bargains’ proposal at Riverside Regional Centre, Coleraine
  • defending the Donegall Place Investments Ltd challenge in relation to car parking at Antrim Street, Lisburn
  • the McGurk challenge to the discharge consent for a waste water treatment works at Magilligan Strand
  • the challenge to the Arc21 permission for a waste incinerator at Mallusk

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