Friday 31 March 2017

Nationwide planning aid for third parties and communities faced with objecting to planning applications

Brendan Buck maintains a planning aid service for individuals and communities faced with objecting to planning applications of all sizes. Please contact Brendan on 087-2615871 or email to obtain:

§  answers to questions people often ask about planning

§  clear, simple explanations of how the planning system works

§  signposting on where to go next

§  Information is provided on all aspects of the planning system including national policy, plan making, the planning application process, enforcement and appeals.

If, having contacted Brendan you still need help, our planning aid service offers a limited amount of free, general planning advice ('limited' means up to 15 minutes' advice by email).

Brendan is a professionally qualified planning advisor and is happy to answer enquiries on any planning-related issues in Ireland. He responds to respond to approx. 200 queries a month on a range of topics including how to comment on planning applications, the planning process, planning appeals and enforcement.

Brendan’s advice is professional and independent and is a key method to help people to engage in the planning process.

Please be aware that:

1.  We don't provide pre-application advice about a specific site or planning application - you'll need to contact your local planning authority for this.

2.  We don't provide free advice to other professionals (e.g. architects, surveyors). Professional advice is subject to professional fees.

Concerns over Donabate traffic arising from recent planning permissions

The issue of construction traffic in Donabate has once again been raised with the HSE with a local TD claiming that it is of major concern for local residents. A number of projects are taking place in the area including the development of the National Forensic Hospital. Other works include work on the Tusla resident childcare facility project which is due to be completed in the first quarter of this year. Furthermore, construction work is due to commence on the ground floor of block 1.2.3 at St. Ita's hospital campus towards the end of this month. Deputy Alan Farrell (FG) said: 'Construction traffic in Donabate is a major concern for many residents in the local community, particularly as we approach further development for the new National Forensic Mental Hospital at St. Ita's.

Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

Planning expires on 36 social housing units in Arklow, County Wicklow

Bitter disappointment was expressed by members of Arklow Municipal District that the chance of having 36 new Cluid housing units built in Arklow is all but gone. Cllr Tommy Annesley raised the matter at the latest district meeting, saying that he heard that a planning application for 36 units on the Vale Road was about to expire and the members knew nothing about it. 'We need to find out what this is all about. We need to get more information on this,' he said. Cllr Miriam Murphy supported this view and said that she was shocked to learn of the situation. 'We get regular reports from the housing officers, yet this is the first I am hearing of this. I am not in the habit of sleeping through meetings and this has come as a big shock to me. All of a sudden there are 36 houses on a list. Why was this not outlined to the public representatives?' she asked.
Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

Airport gets go-ahead for solar farm to power reservoir

Dublin Airport has secured planning permission to build a small solar farm that will help power a large reservoir that delivers 500 million litres of water to the airport every year.
The DAA, which operates Dublin and Cork airports, said that the solar arrays will provide as much as 50pc of the reservoir's power needs. The array will stretch over 650 sq m, according to planners.
It will be connected directly to the pumping station adjoining the covered reservoir, allowing the electricity it generates to be connected to the airport's internal power network.
"However, it is intended that the electricity generated by the proposed development will contribute to the energy requirements of the reservoir, which provides 500,000 m3 of water per annum to the Dublin Airport campus," according to DAA planners.

Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

€90m Cork docklands plan gets green light

DEVELOPMENT of Cork's vast docklands is set to be kick-started by a €90m office block aimed at resolving a chronic shortage of commercial space in the city centre. The Navigation Square complex, which is comprises four separate blocks on a 2.25 acre site in the heart of Cork city centre, will provide accommodation for up to 3,000 employees and more than 310,000sq ft of office space. It ranks as the largest development of its type ever undertaken outside Dublin. Yesterday, An Bord Pleanála (ABP) confirmed the withdrawal of all remaining planning appeals to the development. The project was granted planning permission by Cork City Council last September but a number of planning objections were lodged. The withdrawal of all appeals now means that construction work will begin immediately.

Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

Niall Quinn's 72-bedroom extension to hotel falls foul of elderly Christian brothers

Plans by former soccer international Niall Quinn to build a 72-bedroom extension to his Kildare hotel have fallen foul of an elderly group of Christian Brothers. This follows the congregation of five Christian Brothers, aged 69 to 88, claiming that the plan by Marchford Ltd for Lawlor's Hotel in Naas will disturb its tranquil life in the adjoining St Patrick's Monastery. In August 2014, Quinn joined up with Kilcullen Bakery to buy Lawlor's Hotel from examinership by making available €2.24m to fund a financial recovery for the hotel firm, Marchford Ltd.

Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

Gerry Gannon Seeks Planning Permission For 209-Bedroom Clongriffin Hotel

Planning permission is being sought for a 209-bedroom hotel at Clongriffin, Dublin 13 , by developer Gerry Gannon.
The application, filed by Gannon Properties, will see the development of a seven-storey hotel with a fitness centre, function rooms and other services, located close to a planned Dart station, reports the Irish Independent. The hotel development will also comprise of 20 apartments "for short-term letting for holiday and business use".
There has been an increase in planning applications close to where the proposed Gannon hotel development is over the past year, with CG Hotels receiving planning permission for two expansion projects adjacent to its Radisson Blu hotel at Dublin airport, which will cost in the region of €60 million, as well as a new hotel adjacent to it. The construction of a new terminal-linked four-star, 11-storey hotel, is also being planned for Dublin Airport's Terminal 2.

Carrick-on-Suir solar energy farm granted planning permission

Tipperary Co. Council has granted planning permission for a solar energy farm to be developed near Carrick-on-Suir town. 
Kerry based Solar Sense SPV 1 Ltd was been approved conditional permission to construct 36,500 square metres of solar panels on ground mounted frames on a site in the townlands of Ballynagrana and Deeparklodge, Carrick-on-Suir. 
However Solar Sense will have to wait until March to find out whether full planning permission has been granted to the renewable energy project. 
The Council's grant of permission can be appealed to An Bord Pleanala up to four weeks after the conditional grant of permission was made, which was last Wednesday, February 8.
Read the full article @ The Nationalist

The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016

The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 (the “Act”) has been introduced to deal primarily with the current housing supply shortage and to tackle issues in the rental sector. We examine the key provisions of the Act. 

The main provisions of the Act are:

1.     the introduction of a fast-track planning process for developments consisting of 100 or more houses and for student accommodation of 200 or more bed spaces;

2.     the potential for a second extension of already extended planning permissions for developments comprising 20 or more houses;

3.     the introduction of Rent Pressure Zones (“RPZs”) and rent caps;

4.     the extension of Part 4 tenancies from four years to six years;

5.     the restriction on landlords terminating tenancies of 10 or more units within the same development within a specified six month period where they intend to sell the properties; and

6.     the repeal of the right of landlords to terminate a ‘further’ Part 4 tenancy within the first six months on no stated grounds.

The Act introduces a fast-track planning process for large strategic housing developments. A ‘strategic housing development’ includes the development of 100 or more houses and the development of student accommodation units containing 200 or more bed spaces. An application for the alteration of an existing planning permission where the alteration relates to these types of developments would also qualify for the fast-track planning process. Once the relevant provisions of the Act have commenced, applications for these developments are to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála. For developments located in strategic development zones, applicants may instead choose to make the application to the planning authority.

Rental sector

While developers welcome the Government’s steps to fast track the planning system, it will take cooperation by a number of parties, most notably the local authorities and An Bord Pleanála, to ensure that efficient procedures are implemented to complement the provisions in the Act. 

Work can proceed on €150m Clerys scheme after Siptu withdraws appeal

Trade union Siptu has dropped its opposition to the controversial redevelopment of the iconic Clerys department store after striking a deal for former workers who lost their jobs when the business closed without warning. The country's biggest trade union has withdrawn its appeal against a grant of planning permission awarded last December, paving the way for work on the €150m redevelopment to get under way.

Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

Irish Rail in court challenge over bridges of Clare County

Iarnród Éireann has brought a legal challenge to Clare County Council over its decision to include 19 rail bridges on a list of protected structures. The railway operator has said the decision may mean it will have to seek planning permission for works on county bridges on the Limerick-Ennis line. This could ultimately mean the closure of the entire line for a time, Stephen Dodd BL, for Iarnród Éireann, told the High Court. Mr Justice Seamus Noonan gave Mr Dodd leave to seek judicial review of the council’s recent decision to add the 19 bridges to the list. The leave application was made on an ex parte, one-side-only represented, basis.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Solar power developer sues over Wexford refusal

A High Court challenge has been brought over An Bord Pleanála’s refusal of permission for a solar power generating facility in Co Wexford. Highfield Solar Limited is suing over the board’s decision last month refusing permission for construction of a photovoltaic energy development on a 90-hectare site near Killinick.

The proposed Grahormick Solar Farm contains a single storey electrical substation building, an electrical building, solar PV panels mounted on steel supports, 6km of new roads, and 13km of electric cabling.
If constructed, the solar panels would be assembled in rows over the property.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Irish Times Planning Clinic - Replacing a shared property boundary

Six months ago my neighbour applied for and was granted planning permission to develop a large complex that abuts my property. As I was sick at this time, I did not pay any attention as I had a lot to contend with. The other day I looked at the plans and I noticed that they sought to replace our mutual boundary hedge (full of beautiful old mature trees – oak, ash, beech, etc) with a 2.4m high concrete block wall. They did not consult with me in any way prior to their application. The planning permission states that “the development shall take place with the plans submitted”. Does this mean that they must now remove our mutual boundary hedge? Can they do this despite the fact that I was not consulted on the matter?
You describe the hedge as a “mutual boundary hedge”. This means that it is a party boundary and that you have joint ownership. Therefore your property (legal) boundary runs through the centre of the trunks/stems of the hedge. One party cannot substantially interfere with or remove a party wall, hedge or fence without the consent of the adjoining owner.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times