An Bord Pleanála has announced that it has been unable to reach a decision on the €1bn Corballis East housing development within the statutory time limit.

Plans for 1,365 housing units near Donabate in north county Dublin, which went straight to An Bord Pleanála as a Strategic Housing Development, provoked strong opposition in the local area.

A decision had been due but An Bord Pleanála has advised all parties in a letter that it "has not been possible to determine the case within the statutory time period".

The letter adds that the delay is "regretted" but that this is not legal grounds for questioning the validity of the eventual decision.

The Corballis East SHD is thought to the second biggest such scheme in the State, second only to the 1,600-unit Holy Cross development in Drumcondra which has been given permission.

The Corballis plan was the subject of an oral hearing and this extends the statutory time limit on the board to make a decision from 16 to 24 weeks.

However under the fast-track planning law, the board incurs a financial penalty for not meeting its time limit.

In its letter to notice parties, the board says it will take all steps open to it to determine the application as quickly as possible.

The plan, which was submitted by Aledo Donabate, a company owned by the directors of Dublin builders Cannon Kirk, involves 346 houses and 1,019 apartments as well as three creches and a 13-hectare nature park.

The developers were reported as estimating the cost of construction at over €250m but that the overall costs would be over €1bn when site costs and other charges are taken into account.

An oral hearing was held over concerns over the proximity to the Dublin-Belfast railway line and the protected view on the Malahide estuary.