Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Allegations faced by the six councils


An independent review by former Louth county manager John Quinlivan found that several practices in the council were "unacceptable", including allowing its former director of planning to prepare local area plans which are used to decide if planning permission should be approved.

Most notably, the council ordered a building company to build a road even though it did not own all of the land, which led to it being dubbed the 'road to nowhere'.


An Taisce made a series of complaints about planning permission being granted for high-rise buildings which it claims should not have been approved under the council's own guidelines.

Concerns were raised about 23 individual planning applications approved between 2005 and 2009. Of these, 15 were overturned by An Bord Pleanala.

The heritage body also claimed that the council had ignored zoning policy and conservation issues.

The council said the developments were allowed under its planning guidelines.


Concerns were raised with the Department of the Environment about the number of one-off rural houses being approved in "very sensitive areas", particularly in Connemara.

In some cases, council management decided to overrule the advice of planners who advised to refuse permission.

Some 40 cases were referred to, many of which were overturned by An Bord Pleanala.

In 2009, Galway made 2,167 planning decisions, of which 122 were appealed to the board. Of these, the decision of the council was overturned in almost half of all cases.


The council appointed a liaison officer to act as a kind of middleman.

A constituent or company would approach a councillor seeking advice on obtaining planning permission for a development and the councillor would then approach the liaison officer. The officer would then relay the concerns to planners.

None of the meetings were on the record, documented and available to the public. MEATH

The concerns related to the council deciding on a number of occasions to change its development plan to allow certain types of development to go ahead.

There were six material contraventions of the plan -- some proposed by officials, and others by councillors -- which related to proposals to develop business parks in Dunboyne, Clonee and near Maynooth in Co Kildare.

In some cases, permissions were overturned by An Bord Pleanala on appeal.

CORK CITY Allegations were made in relation to 16 specific planning applications in Cork city, with concerns raised that meetings between applicants and council staff were not recorded.

Some complaints related to how planning functions were being carried out, with allegations that planning policies were not being implemented in the case of certain developments.

The council was asked to respond to complaints in June 2010, and has sent a submission to the Department of the Environment.

Read the article @ The Irish Independent


No comments: