Friday 22 June 2007

Redress of €1,000 paid over loss of right to appeal

A woman and her neighbours who lost their statutory right to object to a planning application after an oversight by Wexford County Council received €1,000 each following an investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman.
According to the office's 2006 annual report, when the woman and her neighbours tried to inspect the planning application for a development beside their homes, they were incorrectly told that the council had received no such application.
It transpired that the council had noted the electoral address rather than the postal address of the proposed development in its computer system, but by the time the application was discovered, it was too late for her to apply.
She was also mistakenly advised by the council to apply to An Bord Pleanála for leave to appeal, which involved an accompanying fee. This application was subsequently turned down by the board.
The ombudsman asked the council to provide redress, which it did in the form of €1,000 each to the complainant and to each of her neighbours. This was in recognition of their statutory loss of the right to appeal, plus a refund of the fees incurred in appealing to An Bord Pleanála.
John Downes
© Irish Times

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