Tuesday 29 September 2009

Mayor calls for regulations over planning objections

THE mayor of Limerick city has called for new regulations concerning objections that are lodged with An Bord Pleanála to developments approved by a local authority.

Cllr Kevin Kiely said that over the past two years, developments worth €1.2 billion had been delayed or lost in Limerick due to objections lodged with and appeals board, although they had been approved by the city council.

"This has a devastating affect on the city centre. The planners down here in Limerick know what is happening in the city with regard to planning and before they give planning permission, every application is examined over and over again, before a decision to grant permission is arrived at."

In the latest setback a plan to develop a €20 million structure on the site of Limerick Boat Club was overturned by An Bord Pleanála after a number of objections were lodged.

Up to 200 construction jobs would have been on offer had the development been given the go-ahead.

Mr Kiely said as the rules stand, a person can object to any kind of project by lodging a nominal sum of money with An Bord Pleanála.

"I think if a person is going to go to An Bord Pleanála to object to a development approved by the local county or city council, they should have to sign a bond for a substantial sum of money, say €10,000.

"If their appeal is upheld then they would not be asked to honour the bond.

"However, if the objection is turned down by An Bord Pleanála, the objector should be made liable to honour the bond entered into. We are witnessing huge projects in the city being lost when we need jobs and investment."

He said Bord Pleanála does not appear to understand what the council is trying to do to bring more quality projects and investment into the city centre.

"The city council centre turned down planning permission for a number of fast food outlets with good reason. But they were given the go ahead on appeal to An Bord Pleanála. Now these two small outlets are causing huge traffic problems where they are located."

Irish Examiner


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