Tuesday 11 December 2012

Over €3m paid out to turfcutters affected by EU habitat restrictions

More than €3 million has been paid out in compensation to turfcutters, who have been affected by restrictions in a EU habitats directive.
Some 2,008 turf cutters have received annual payments of €1,500 each and 180 turf deliveries which have been made to applicants at a total cost of €3,282,232.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Proposal for retirement village rejected

Councillors in Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown have rejected a controversial rezoning to allow for a retirement village at the foot of the Dublin Mountains.
The proposal involved a variation to the county development plan which spelled out that on a seven-hectare site on the outer side of the M50, at Ticknock near Sandyford, a retirement village would be “permitted in principle”.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

New purpose-built distillery denies it is in breach of planning rules

The first purpose-built distillery for a new whiskey in Ireland in more than 200 years has received a warning from Kerry County Council, which claims it does not have proper planning permission.
The facility for Dingle Whiskey in an old sawmills on the seafront at Milltown, Dingle, opened last week. However, brewing company Porterhouse Ltd has been told certain works have been carried out without permission.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Opposition mounts to super-sized fish farm in Galway Bay

THE Irish ballad The West’s Awake, by Thomas Davis came to mind of late following the devastating news that Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) had lodged a proposal for a supersized salmon fish farm off Inis Oirr in Galway Bay.
Angling organisations, anglers, stakeholders, hoteliers, restaurateurs, islanders and west coast citizens are “up in arms” and rallying in large numbers in opposition to this outrageous proposal.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Locals jointly buy Dartmouth Square park

A day of mystery and intrigue in the Shelbourne Hotel ended with Dublin City Council and local residents coming together yesterday evening to buy Dartmouth Square in Ranelagh for €142,000.
The sale of the two-acre square was to be one of the highlights of the latest Allsop/ Space auction of distressed properties, with the auctioneers setting a reserve price of €140,000 on the two-acre square.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Monday 3 December 2012

Legal opinion may see rerouting of Galway bypass

The proposed N6 Galway city outer bypass will almost certainly need to be rerouted following a legal opinion by a European Court advocate general that the current plan breaches the EU habitats directive.
Advocate general Eleanor Sharpston found in favour of environmental activist Peter Sweetman, who claimed that a designated special area of conservation (SAC) near Lough Corrib would be adversely affected by the road.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Green light for €370m plan to complete 'missing link' between Luas lines

Preliminary work is expected to start next May on the plan to link Dublin’s two Luas lines following a Cabinet decision yesterday to approve an updated “business case” for the €370 million project. The line will continue north as far as Broombridge
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar will now ask the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) to “proceed with procurement and contractual arrangements” to allow the project to proceed in 2013.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Christy O'Connor challenges refusal to extend permission

Golfer Christy O’Connor jnr has brought a High Court challenge to a refusal to extend a planning permission for three houses on family land in Co Galway.
Galway City Council refused last October to extend the normal five-year duration of a permission granted by An Bord Pleanála in 2008 for the one-acre site at Knocknacarra, Salthill, the court heard.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Bord Pleanala saves Liberty Hall from the wrecking ball

PLANS by the country's big-gest trade union, SIPTU, to demolish and redevelop Liberty Hall have been rejected.
An Bord Pleanala has refused permission to demolish the building and replace it with a 23-storey mixed-use development which would be 93 metres tall – 30 metres taller than the existing structure.
And the planning appeals board also appears to have ruled out a further application to develop the site.
In a unanimous decision, it said it did not agree demolishing the structure was "justified".
One of the capital's most polarising buildings, Liberty Hall was designed by Desmond Rea O'Kelly and completed in 1965 on a site which has links to the 1916 Rising and the Lockout.
It was the country's first skyscraper, and received plaudits at the time including being commended by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland Gold Medal awards.
It has since become dilapidated and unsuitable for modern office requirements, which prompted SIPTU to announce plans to redevelop it in 2006.
Dublin City Council granted planning permission last year for a new building, to include offices, a public heritage centre, cafe, theatre and a "skydeck" viewing facility which would provide views across the city.
However, the decision was appealed by An Taisce, Irish LifeAssurance and others, with planning inspector Mary Crowley recommending refusal.
In its ruling, the board said the site was of "national historic and social significance", and that it was a structure of "primary importance".
"Notwithstanding the quality of the architectural design, it is considered that the scale and, in particular, the height of the development as proposed, would be unacceptably dominant in the city," it ruled.
"It would be visually intrusive in the streetscape and riverscape and would seriously injure the visual amenities of the city and its skyline."
The proposed development would also "seriously detract" from the Custom House, and would "intrude" on other important views across the city.
SIPTU said it was "dis-appointed" with the decision.
"The union, our architects and professional advisers have put five years' hard work into this project including an enormous amount of consultation with Dublin City Council, our members and other key stakeholders including the local community," general secretary Joe O'Flynn said.
"Given that the city council saw fit earlier this year to grant us planning permission for the redevelopment of Liberty Hall, we are extremely disappointed that this decision has now been overturned by An Bord Pleanala."
Paul Melia
Read the article @ Irish Independent

Howth gate decision angers hillwalkers

The erection of a gate on a traditional walkers’ pathway on Howth Head is being challenged by local people.
Regular walkers in the area are angry at a decision by Fingal County Council not to take action over the matter.
Members of the Howth Pathways group have formally asked the council to reconsider its decision that the newly erected gate, 170m from Heather Cottage on East Mountain, is an exempt development.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Life on a wasteland of derelict blocks fallen foul of downturn

It is 15 months since permission for the O’Devaney Gardens project was granted
On the side of every flat block and on corners throughout the estate, there are signs advertising the O’Devaney Gardens regeneration project. At this stage, they are an affront to the remaining residents.
It is almost nine years since the redevelopment proposals were put forward; just under seven since the then housing minister Noel Ahern confirmed the plans for a €180 million regeneration as a public-private partnership (PPP). Dublin City Council now says there is no funding for the project, which has been put on hold.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Housing plans for O'Devaney shelved

The redevelopment of one of Dublin’s largest and most notorious council flat complexes has been put on hold because of a failure to secure finance for the scheme.
Dublin City Council says it has been unable to secure funding to go ahead with the regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens, despite having secured planning permission more than a year ago.
The 1950s flat complex was one of five social housing schemes in the city to have been developed under a public-private partnership between developer Bernard McNamara and the council.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

The bigger the better no longer holds sway

An Bord Pleanála’s unanimous decision to refuse planning permission for the replacement of Liberty Hall with a much taller and bulkier tower, coming after its politically shocking refusal for the Mater children’s hospital, marks the end of a high-rise mania in Dublin.
The main reason given in both cases was essentially the same – that the height and bulk of these proposals would have a negative effect on the city’s skyline, which (as the board noted) Dublin City Council’s own development plan “seeks to protect and enhance”.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Reinventing Dublin

If there is one thread in the public reaction to our Reinventing Dublin series, it is that people actually like Ireland’s capital and want it to be a better place.
Whether it can aim to be “world class” – as city manager John Tierney says it should – is probably a chimera, given its relatively small scale. Until recently, the view prevalent among our city planners was that high-rise buildings were needed to put it on the map, as it were. But this has been repeatedly rebuffed by An Bord Pleanála, most recently in its decision to refuse planning permission for the tall and bulky building proposed to replace Liberty Hall. If Dublin is to secure world heritage site status for its Georgian core, it needs to protect the skyline of the city against such visual intrusions.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Liberty Hall redevelopment rejected

Plans by trade union Siptu to demolish and redevelop Liberty Hall in Dublin have been rejected by the planning appeals authority.
An Bord Pleanála said the the new complex would be “unacceptably dominant” in the city and “visually intrusive in the streetscape and riverscape”.
The authority was also of the view the proposal would “seriously injure the visual amenities of the city and its skyline”.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Council may challenge decision on Adare bypass

LIMERICK County Council has not ruled out seeking a judicial review of a decision by Bord Pleanála to refuse planning permission for an Adare bypass.
Some 10,000 cars pass through the village of Adare every day, which is also the main route for N21 motorists driving from Shannon Airport, Dublin and Limerick to Kerry and the southwest holiday area.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

New children's hospital plan puts pressure on creaky facilities

Temple Street children’s hospital was 140 years old last week and it looks every minute of it. A maze of narrow corridors and dark and dingy stairs, it looks like a cross from the worlds of Charles Dickens and Alice in Wonderland. Staff and parents alike daily toil up steps, past the “mind your head” signs and the cracked windows, and through a rabbit-warren of passages and rooms.

Read the article @ The Irish Times

Posted by BPS Town Planning Consultants 

Altered city plan could aid hospital concerns - expert

Planning concerns around the national children’s hospital could be swept away with a simple variation to the Dublin city development plan, a former head of the Irish Planning Institute has said.
Fergal MacCabe, a city planning expert and consultant, made his comments in light of a report highlighting possible hurdles to the chosen site.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Scenic road scheme must be redesigned, says planning board

A €65 million scenic road scheme which would radically widen and straighten a large section of the narrow fuschia lined road between Dingle and Tralee will have to go back to the drawing board, An Bord Pleanála has ruled.
The upgrade of 28 km of the N86 between Dingle, Annascaul and Gortbreagoge to Camp is one of a handful of “type-3 single carriageway” pilot projects planned for national secondary tourist routes along the western seaboard. The design allows for constructed cycle ways as well as overtaking .
Read the article @ The Irish Times

St James's tops list of imperfect locations

Q The children’s hospital – is it in the right place?
After four years of reviews and no action, the national children’s hospital got back on track this week with the Government’s selection of St James’s Hospital as the location. But is St James’s, an inner city site that has much in common with the previous failed choice of the Mater, the right place for this flagship project?
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Hospital site smallest among options assessed by group

The site proposed by St James’s Hospital as the location for the new national children’s hospital was the smallest considered by the Dolphin review group and was assessed as high-risk in a later planning review.
However, the group chaired by businessman Frank Dolphin found that St James’s had the best range of medical specialties to partner a new children’s hospital. The planning review suggested an enlarged site be used at St James’s, a proposal that was taken up by Government.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Council to discuss planning history of Carlton site

A special meeting has been scheduled to explore the issue of the “Carlton site” area off O’Connell Street which has remained undeveloped following at least 14 years of protracted planning issues. 

Pressure mounted on Dublin City Council officials last night to explain in detail an agreement reached for the development of the historic 1916 Moore Street site following a TG4 documentary broadcast last month.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Report considers ban on heavy lorries in Slane

Councillors in Meath have been presented with a report examining the impact of banning heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in Slane village.
Earlier this year An Bord Pleanála refused permission for a bypass of Slane. It said a bypass would be acceptable only where it was demonstrated that no appropriate alternative was available; this was taken to mean considering banning HGV traffic from the medieval village.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Sweetman v An Bord Pleanála (case C-258/11)

On September 12th the Court of Justice heard oral submissions in the case of Sweetman v An Bord Pleanála (case C-258/11).
Mr Sweetman had objected to the decision of An Bord Pleanála to authorise construction of the Galway City outer bypass. Part of this road crosses limestone pavement, a protected habitat in EU law.
The Supreme Court referred the case to the Court of Justice for guidance on the meaning of the term “adversely affects the integrity” in respect of a protected site.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Decision in favour of Cork retail centre challenged

A HIGH Court challenge has been brought against planning permission for a new local retail centre at Model Farm Road, Cork.
Raymond Dennehy, Manor Hill, Ballinacollig, Co Cork, and Brian Herlihy, Muladhara Ballinaboy, Ballinhassig, are seeking orders overturning a September 2011 decision by An Bord Pleanála granting permission for the development.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

The children's hospital

Costs and compromises lie at the heart of the Government’s decision to locate a new national children’s hospital at St James’s hospital in Dublin. Infighting between medical and political interests generated so much public confusion in recent months that the best interests of children and their parents appeared secondary considerations. Now that a decision has been taken, no time should be lost in providing this vitally needed facility.

Read the article @ The Irish Times

Posted by BPS Town Planning Consultants

Tuesday 6 November 2012

National children's hospital to be built on St James's site

The Cabinet has given the go-ahead for a new €500 million national children’s hospital on the St James’s hospital campus in south Dublin city.
At a press conference at Government Buildings this afternoon, Minister for Health James Reilly said he had brought his recommendation to the Cabinet today on the location of the hospital.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Council to sue Tom McFeely over Priory Hall

DUBLIN City Council is to sue the bankrupt developer Tom McFeely and others over what it claims are "defective" apartments at Priory Hall.
Mr McFeely's company, Coalport, developed the Donaghmede apartment complex, which was evacuated last year by order of the High Court due to concerns about fire safety.
More than 250 families had to leave their homes and seek alternative accommodation.
Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne, at the High Court, has now granted the council permission to bring proceedings against Mr McFeely, who is bankrupt.
Denis McDonald, SC for the council, told the court that his client had brought an action against both Mr McFeely and several other parties over what it claims are structurally defective apartments at Priory Hall.
He said the council had leased some 27 apartments at Priory Hall and Mr McFeely was the mortgagee of eight of these.
Mr McDonald said that despite the fact that Mr McFeely is bankrupt, the council still wanted him included in the action that it intends to bring against eight others because the developer could be found liable by the court.
It could also be the case that Mr McFeely may be successful in his application to have the court's decision to adjudicate him bankrupt reviewed. That review is due to be heard next month.
The judge, who said the council was making a "somewhat unusual" application, said she was prepared to grant permission to bring the action.
The order was granted ex parte (one side only represented). Neither Mr McFeely nor any legal representative acting on his behalf were in court.
In July, Mr McFeely was declared bankrupt after a court rejected his argument that his centre of main business interest was the UK.
He had previously been declared bankrupt in the UK but decision was subsequently rescinded following a challenge by Theresa McGuinness, from Rush, Co Dublin, who brought bankruptcy proceedings in Ireland against Mr McFeely over the failure by one of his companies to pay a court award of €100,000 to her.
- Tim Healy

Read the article @ The Irish Independent

Cabinet picks St James’s as site for new children’s hospital

THE Cabinet has picked St James Hospital as the location for the new national children's hospital.
The hospital will be built on lands in and around St James Hospital.
Health Minister Dr James Reilly formally announced the decision this afternoon.
Dr Reilly was be accompanied by Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald and junior health minister Alex White.
He added today that it was regrettable that €26m of the €39m already spent on the Mater site would not be recovered.
Earlier he conceded that an original deadline of 2016 for the hospital to be built will not be met.
He also said hospital will cost over €500m to build, although this is less than the €650m that it 
would have cost at the Mater site.

Fionnan Sheahan
Read the article @ The Irish Independent

Sunday 21 October 2012

Phil Hogan warns firms he will impose levy to repair homes damaged by pyrite

ENVIRONMENT Minister Phil Hogan has given builders and insurers a last chance to pay for the repair of up to 11,000 homes damaged by pyrite.
He said they had 10 days to come up with a viable proposal -- or else he would impose a levy on the construction, quarry and insurance companies who were responsible for the pyrite-damaged homes.
"I will not delay in finalising robust proposals," he said. "It is the homeowners who have suffered far too long from this problem."
Pyrite, also known as 'fool's gold', is a natural mineral found in stone which becomes unstable when exposed to air or water. It has caused cracking, splitting and buckling of walls, floors and ceilings.
It is expected to cost €45,000 to fix each of the homes damaged by pyrite.
Mr Hogan had previously given the companies a deadline of the end of last month to come up with a solution. But he said the responses he received were "disappointing".
The 'Pyrite Panel' report found that up to 12,250 homes were potentially exposed to pyrite. Around 1,100 homes have been fixed by builders.
But of the 11,150 homes remaining, 850 require immediate repairs and a further 10,300 could require repairs in the future.
Mr Hogan said the priority was to deal with the 850 dwellings in need of immediate remediation and put a "green, red and amber" system in place to repair damage in the remaining homes as it emerged.
However, this has frustrated homeowners, who do not want to live with the threat of pyrite.
Junior Agriculture Minister Shane McEntee, who was involved in negotiations to get 700 pyrite-damaged homes repaired by builders, said he believed the Government's plan to set up an industry-funded pyrite-repair scheme was better than going down the legal route.
Most of the homes affected are in Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Offaly. The building material containing pyrite came from certain quarries.
Mr Hogan's ultimatum to builders and insurers came as around 80 homeowners with pyrite-damaged properties protested outside the Dail and then entered the Dail visitors' gallery to listen to the debate.
But Independent TD Clare Daly said Mr Hogan's comments about the State not being responsible were an "insult" to homeowners. She added that there had been a lack of oversight of the building and quarrying sector.
Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor
Read the article @ The Irish Independent

Academics get behind Connolly as site for new hospital

THE presidents of two more third-level colleges have come out publicly in their support for Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown as the site for the new national children's hospital.
Prof Brian MacCraith, president of Dublin City University, and Prof Philip Nolan, president of NUI Maynooth, believe it has the potential to create a world-class medical research and innovation hub.
The academics were joined in a statement of support by Prof Cathal Kelly of the Royal College of Surgeons, which has already backed Connolly hospital in north-west Dublin as a site.
It is still unclear when the proposed location will be brought before Cabinet because of a delay in holding a meeting between Health Minister James Reilly, Taoiseach Enda Kennyand Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore on the issue.
They must have first sight of the minister's report, which will be based on the findings of the review group chaired by businessman Frank Dolphin, who looked at more than 40 sites.
The colleges said the debate around the location of the new children's hospital "had rightly focused on what is best for children and their families".
It said the discussion to date has focused on four issues: best clinical care for children, planning, access and cost.
The McKinsey report on the proposed site, commissioned by the government in 2006, considered the Connolly location the best in terms of planning, transport access, parking and, by implication, cost.
"The integration of Beaumont and Connolly Hospitals into a single structure addresses any concerns raised about the scope of clinical specialties available.
"Together the hospitals have the broadest range of child-facing specialties, including neurosurgery, transplantation, national poisons centre and the national cochlear implant centre.
"The hospital campus must have the capacity to accommodate at least 1,500 medical, nursing and other health-related students annually to train as the next generation of children's healthcare workers," they said.
They added: "The Connolly site, adjacent to the M50 and N7, has excellent road, rail and airport links. The site itself is over 150 acres in size, zoned for development; it is adjacent to a further 200 acres of IDA lands.
"This type of development will be supported by the existing co-location of IT and pharma companies in the area, such as Hewlett Packard, IBM, INTEL, Wyeth and Bristol Meyers Squibb," they said.
Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent
Read the article @ The Irish Independent

Mosque proposed for Clongriffin

DUBLIN CITY planners are to meet public representatives on proposals for a €65 million, mixed-use development based around a new Islamic cultural centre on the city’s northern fringe.
The council is currently considering a planning application which includes a large mosque, a 34 classroom school, conference centre, assembly hall, playground and swimming pool on the site in Clongriffin.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Jobs claim by wind farm lobby dismissed

CLAIMS BY wind energy promoters that their projects would create thousands of jobs in Ireland have been hotly disputed by anti-wind farm campaigners, who say they have seen “no evidence” of local employment.
“What we have seen is the misery and suffering they have caused local families who not only have to endure the noise and shadow flicker the wind turbines produce, but now face the realisation that their family homes are worth up to 80 per cent less than their market value,” said Yvonne Cronin, spokeswoman for Communities for Responsible Engagement with Wind Energy (Crewe) which was founded last June.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

State geologist questions fracking firm's data

THE QUALITY of the data used by exploration group Tamboran Resources to determine the natural gas reserves in the Lough Allen region was “questionable”, a Government expert has claimed.
Michael Hanrahan, senior geologist with the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources petroleum division, told an Oireachtas committee yesterday that the quality of that information could be questioned. “The seismic data is very old and its quality is questionable,” he said, and would need more evaluation. 

Read the article @ The Irish Times 

Posted by bps town planning consultants

Land of religious congregations in Dublin may be rezoned for housing

LAND OWNED by religious congregations in Dublin is set to be rezoned to allow for residential development following a decision to change the Dublin City Development Plan.
The plan, which sets down what developments are permitted in the city, had barred some 770 hectares of institutional land on 186 sites across the city from being used for housing.
More than half the land is held by religious bodies.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Indaver to lodge fresh application

Waste company Indaver last night announced it had withdrawn its judicial review of a refusal by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for its €160 million twin incinerator project in Cork and it will instead lodge a fresh planning application for the project.
Indaver said it had decided to withdraw its judicial review which was due to begin in the High Court on Tuesday after it obtained a report by Cork County Council.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Adare bypass turned down

AN BORD Pleanála has refused permission for a bypass of Adare in Co Limerick. Traffic gridlock around the scenic town is blamed for major delays at weekends and during the peak tourist season.
Some 10,000 cars a day pass through Adare, it is estimated, and delays are a constant feature at weekends and daily during the summer.
Local TDs have reacted angrily to the decision. However, the bypass was linked to plans for the Cork-to-Limerick motorway withdrawn earlier this year, and the board now sees the bypass as “isolated infrastructure”.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Planning granted for overhead power line

EIRGRID HAS been granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for a €20 million overhead power line in Co Cork which, it says, is essential to provide security of electricity supply and assist in the exporting of renewable energy.
An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the 110kv line, which will run for 40km from a substation at Clashavoon, 10km northeast of Macroom in mid-Cork, to another substation on the outskirts of Dunmanway in west Cork.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Cork ships household waste for incineration

AN ESTIMATED 50,000 tonnes of domestic waste look set to be exported from Cork city and county this year for disposal abroad due to a lack of local facilities to cater for the waste.
The export of the waste is organised by Indaver. Details of the Cork shipments emerged last month at an oral hearing held by An Bord Pleanála into a planning application by Indaver for an expansion of its €140 million incinerator at Carranstown near Duleek, Co Meath.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Council plans €40m clean-up of Cork site

CORK COUNTY Council yesterday revealed it plans to lodge a planning application either late this year or early next year for a multimillion euro remediation project to make safe a tip head at the former Irish Steel plant at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour.
The nine-hectare site has been the subject of concern for over a decade since the closure of the steel works in 2001, as sludge and other waste products from the plant were deposited at a sand spit at the eastern end of Haulbowline Island over a period of 40 years.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Planning granted for North bridge

Planning permission has been granted in Northern Ireland for a new cross-Border bridge.
The £22 million (€27.6 million) single-carriageway structure will span the Newry River near Warrenpoint and link Co Down with Co Louth near Omeath and close to Carlingford Lough.
The total length is approximately 660 metres, and the project is seeking most of the money from the EU's fund for development in border regions.

Read the article @ The Irish Times

Posted by bps town planning consultants

Application to take Bewley's signage from Starbucks

THE TRADITIONAL Bewley’s signage on the front of its former Westmoreland Street cafe, now a Starbucks branch, could be at risk following an application to Dublin City Council for its removal.
Bewley’s Oriental Cafes Ltd has applied to the council to be allowed remove the mosaic tiling on the facade and floor of the building bearing the Bewley’s name and replace it with plain tiles. It has also sought the removal of the stained glass, also bearing the Bewley’s name, from above the door. All of the features are believed to be almost 120 years old.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Shannon bridge plan could affect tunnel tolls

PLANS FOR a bridge across the river Shannon to bypass Killaloe, Co Clare, could undermine the €660 million Limerick Tunnel by diverting traffic from it, according to the National Roads Authority (NRA).
The plans, drawn up by consultant engineers Roughan O’Donovan for Clare County Council and North Tipperary County Council, are the subject of an oral hearing by An Bord Pleanála under the 2006 Strategic Infrastructure Act.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Limerick Youth Service to redevelop closed centre

The Limerick Youth Service is to redevelop 19th-century Ballyloughran House in north Co Kerry as a weekend hostel for youths from Limerick city and other regions. The house had been run as a multipurpose leisure and accommodation centre for schools and young people for 40 years.
Limerick Youth Service closed Ballyloughran Activity Centre in Lisselton in November 2009, citing financial pressures as the reason. At the time, however, management said it was committed to the future of Ballyloughran in a more favourable economic climate.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Consultants warn Reilly over children's hospital site

MINISTER FOR Health James Reilly is on a collision course with medical specialists over the expected selection of Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown as the location for the new national children’s hospital.
Dr Reilly said at the weekend he would bring the long-awaited decision on the hospital to the Taoiseach and Tánaiste in the next 10 days and a Cabinet decision was likely to follow shortly after.
However, consultants working in Dublin’s existing three children’s hospitals have warned Dr Reilly, in a letter seen by The Irish Times, against locating a new hospital away from adult and maternity facilities.
Read the article @ The Irish Times 

Wind energy industry set for massive expansion

Since 1992 wind’s share of the electricity market has been increasing and it now stands at 18%
THE NUMBER of wind turbines dotting the landscape looks set to double between now and 2020, according to reliable estimates.
There are more than 1,100 turbines in operation in Ireland, mostly at 176 onshore “wind farms”, with a further seven offshore at Arklow Bank.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Friday 5 October 2012

Opposition grows to drilling rig off south Dublin coast

A DRILLING rig to establish the scale of oil and gas reserves off the Dublin coast is due to be in place within six months after the approval of an exploratory foreshore licence.
Dublin-based Providence Resources has said it plans to have the rig in place 6km off Dalkey Island on the Kish Bank Basin in the first few months of 2013.
As local objections mount to the plan, however, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore last night backed calls for a public inquiry into any future application by the developers.
“The licence is for a once-off exploratory drill,” the Dún Laoghaire TD stressed, adding if a commercial licence was sought at a future stage, “I would expect a public inquiry to be held”.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Providence awarded Dalkey licence

Environmental groups have criticised the Government after Irish-listed oil and gas exploration company Providence Resources was awarded a foreshore licence for the Dalkey Island prospect in Dublin Bay. 
The licence for an area in the Kish Bank basin allows the company to carry out a 2D seismic study, a well site survey and drill an exploration well.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Plans lodged for €65m Islamic centre

LEADING developer Gerry Gannon has lodged a planning application with Dublin City Council for a €65 million Islamic Cultural Centre including a large mosque at Clongriffin on the northern fringe of the city. It is the largest development project in the pipeline after the proposed National Children’s Hospital.

Read the article @ The Irish Times

Posted by BPS Town Planning Consultants

Longford cathedral to be restored

The €30 million refurbishment of St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford is expected to create up to 150 jobs and should be completed in time for Christmas Eve mass in 2014.
The Cathedral was gutted by a fire which broke out on Christmas Eve in 2009. The fire destroyed the roof, much of the interior and burned into Christmas day.

Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Colm O’Reilly, today signed contracts for the project with Longford based GEM Construction and Galway based Purcell Construction, who together will restore the Cathedral.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Objections to Jewish museum expansion

THE IRISH Jewish Museum has moved to reassure local residents that its plans for expansion will be in keeping with the neighbourhood.
The redevelopment plan for the museum on Walworth Road, in Dublin’s Portobello, attracted more than 20 objections before the observation period closed on September 20th. The museum is awaiting a decision on its planning application, which was lodged with Dublin City Council in August.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

UK debate over pros and cons of fracking will echo in Ireland

Battles over wind farms may be just the prelude to more bitter conflict as fracking spreads, writes MARK HENNESSY 
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS delegates grabbed coats and scarves as they made their way, heads bowed, along Brighton’s promenade for their party’s conference this week in the face of howling winds and rain, as an unseasonal winter gale battered England’s south coast.
Despite being preoccupied with their own political survival, delegates had time to consider the UK’s future energy needs, as climate-change pressures clash with the world’s insatiable demand for energy, mostly fossil.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

€230m paid out for PPP projects

MORE THAN €230 million was paid out by the State on various transport, education and health projects that were to have been delivered by public-private partnerships but have now been cancelled or put on hold.
The comptroller’s report states that €216 million was spent on preparatory work on three large-scale transport projects: Metro North, Dart Underground and Metro West.
All three projects have been postponed by the Government.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Children's hospital site now a 'political decision'

THE LOCATION of the new national children’s hospital is becoming a political decision rather than a medical one, the master of the Rotunda maternity hospital has warned.
With a long-awaited decision on the project imminent, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith has expressed his unease at the manner in which the Government appeared to be approaching the decision.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

Minister to get 1916 site assessment soon

MINISTER FOR Heritage Jimmy Deenihan has said he expects to shortly receive an environmental impact assessment on a Dublin site associated with the 1916 Rising.
He said that numbers 14 to 17 Moore Street were under the remit of Nama. Proposals had been submitted to his department envisaging the retention of the buildings and the provision of a commemorative centre.
Planning permission for the site had been granted by Dublin City Council and confirmed by An Bord Pleanála.
Read the article @ The Irish Times

EPA visited Carranstown incinerator 48 times

THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency visited the Carranstown incinerator in Co Meath 48 times over the past year a public hearing by An Bord Pleanála was told yesterday.
There were also audits by officials from Meath County Council and the HSE, the hearing into an application by Indaver Irl for an expansion of the plant was told by Jane Hennessy, the company’s communication manager.

None of the visits by the agency found any problem at the plant which also received three visits by the Health and Safety Authority. 

Read the article @ The Irish Times

Posted by BPS Town Planning Consultants