Wednesday 21 November 2018

Michael Healy-Rae turned down for permission for apartments in pub

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae has been refused planning for apartments in a vacant public house in Tralee, with the planning inspector describing what was proposed as “substandard” and meeting only the minimum requirements. Mr Healy-Rae is already the Dáil’s biggest landlord with up to 10 rental properties. However, his proposal for the part-conversion of Nancy Myles Pub, opposite the old army headquarters of the Munster Fusiliers in Tralee, has met strong local opposition. The original application was for change of use of most of the ground floor and extension to public house to nine residential units. Following a revised application, permission for four apartments was given by Kerry County Council.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times 

An Taisce calls for rejection of Johnny Ronan’s Dublin skyscraper

National heritage body An Taisce has urged An Bord Pleanála not to approve developer Johnny Ronan’s plans to build Dublin’s tallest building on Tara Street. Mr Ronan was last month refused permission by Dublin City Council, for a second time, to build a 22-storey tower overlooking the river Liffey opposite the Custom House. The council said the proposed tower would have a “significantly detrimental impact due to its scale and bulk on the setting and character of the Custom House” and on views from as far away as Harcourt Street to the south, Lord Edward Street in Christchurch to the west and the Five Lamps on the North Strand. Mr Ronan has in recent days appealed the council’s decision to An Bord Pleanála on the grounds that the scheme complies with the council’s own development plan for the area, and has requested the board hold a public hearing on the proposal.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Can we move to Ireland and build a prefab home on a site?

Today the Irish Times features a question from a Polish couple regarding building a house in a rural area in Ireland. This question is not answered by a qualified planner from a local authority, from the private sector or any other planner the Irish Planning Institute - the professional body for Irish planners - could have recommended. Instead, the question is answered by a chartered building surveyor (I pause here and invite anyone to review recent rural housing planning applications made across Ireland and to note how many, if any, involve such a person). This person's response does not refer even once to the need to consult a planner. References are made to plans and councils, but no mention is made of the fact that this matter is best discussed with a planning professional (such planners made the plans and work in the councils to which the article refers).

The Polish couple is not advised of this. The article instead refers to chartered building surveyors and architects as the correct people to contact. This is simply incorrect and misleading. The correct people to contact are those with actual planning qualifications such as UCD's Masters Degree in Regional and Urban Planning and those with experience working as a council planner or as a private planner (who has made many rural housing planning applications) who can actually advise accurately and informatively on the chances of obtaining planning permission.

The Irish Planning Institute maintains a list of properly qualified planners who those, such as this Polish couple, can contact if they actually need to speak to the correct professional to give them the right advice. If you need to speak to a planner who can actually properly answer your planning question, please contact one of the planning consultancy firms on the Irish Planning Institute's list at this link:

Perhaps in the future the Irish Times could use a qualified planner to answer planning questions and/or ensure answers provided give the correct advice.

The article can be reviewed @ The Irish Times

Planning permission granted for International Rugby Experience in Limerick

McManus is believed to be contributing €10 million for the International Rugby Experience which was initially granted permission by Limerick City and County Council in February but the process was held up after an appeal from An Taisce. The Limerick Leader reported in March that the appeal was made because "Limerick members of An Taisce believe that the modern design would undermine the city’s Georgian core." An Bord Pleanala's decision to ensure the planning permission would go ahead was welcomed by the Limerick Chamber. Reacting to the decision, Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan said: “This is a project of unquantifiable significance for Limerick. It’s a game-changer. One of our key objectives in Limerick Chamber is to see the value proposition for the city centre strengthened so that we attract more people to live, work and shop here. We’ve long since argued that we needed a stimulant for that and the International Rugby Experience is exactly that.
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Dáil bill aims to tackle planning permission difficulties in northwest

A bill aimed at resolving difficulties around planning permission in the northwest of the country was due before the Dáil this evening. Leitrim County Council says Environmental Protection Agency guidelines are preventing local people from building one-off houses in the area. The guidelines were adopted as part of measures to prevent ground water pollution from septic tanks. Francis McSharry from Kinlough, Co Leitrim, has spent four years trying to get planning for a home on his family farm. However, the strict EPA rules on effluent treatment have made obtaining planning permission extremely difficult. Given its often boggy, wet nature, 87% of rural Leitrim land does not meet EPA T90 standards. This means it takes more than five hours for water to drop four inches in a percolation hole, so it struggles to deal with septic tank run-offs.
Read the full article @ RTE News

Friday 9 November 2018

Major Oranmore housing proposal refused over goose concerns

A major housing development planned for Oranmore has been refused planning permission. An Bord Pleanála has turned down the proposal by Arlum Limited for 212 homes at Moneyduff and Oranhill. A portion of the planned development in Oranmore would have been designated as social housing. There were also plans to build a creche at the site but local councillors previously said there was concern about the lack of amenities in the area and a new access road. The planning application went straight to An Bord Pleanála, bypassing the county council, under new legislation for large-scale strategic housing developments. The Board has refused to allow the 212 homes be built at Oranhill stating that it’s not satisfied that excluding nearby European protected sites from the Natura impact statement was appropriate. This is due to the possible use of the development site by the Greenland White-fronted goose, which is a species of Special Conservation Interest for both SPAs. Also An Bord Pleanála ruled that the Natura Impact Statement doesn’t consider the potential for effects on Special Conservation Interest bird species in the Inner Galway Bay SPA. 

Read the full article @ Connaught Tribune

Cork councillors seek test case against An Bord Pleanála to prevent planning permission for homes

Councillors are seeking a test case to be taken against An Bord Pleanála to prevent it from granting planning permission for hundreds of houses, as they claim it will swamp a village which hasn't the infrastructure to cope. Councillors in Co Cork who spent months preparing Local Area Plans (LAPs) for the future development of towns and villages, but they will prove a useless exercise if An Bord Pleanála is allowed to overrule them. They want to take a test case against the planning board on behalf of the residents of Glounthaune, 10kms east of Cork city.
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Thursday 8 November 2018

Plan to transform Dublin’s Dorset Street into ‘cosmopolitan destination village’ unveiled

Dorset Street in Dublin’s north inner city would be turned into a “vibrant cosmopolitan destination village” and “culinary hub” under plans put forward by local residents and business groups. Business group Dubhlinn, working with local residents and Dublin City Council, wants to end the dominance of traffic, fast food outlets, vacant buildings and adult shops, and restore the street to its “former glory” with renovated shop fronts and a pedestrian and cycle-friendly layout. Dorset Street, the principal traffic artery from Dublin Airport and the M1, was built as an upmarket residential area in the 18th century by the Gardiner family but became a thriving shopping district from the mid 19th century until the 1960s.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Dublin City Council planning €40m district heating scheme

Plans for a €40 million district heating system run on hot water supplied from the Poolbeg incinerator are being advanced by Dublin City Council. Council chief executive Owen Keegan said about 50,000 homes could be heated using water heated by the waste incinerator and piped to homes in the docklands on both sides of the Liffey. The plan was initially proposed more than a decade ago, but was delayed because of delays with the incinerator itself. However, Mr Keegan said the proposal was now firmly back on the drawing board and could be extended to other areas of the city with the addition of other heat sources.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Landlords will need planning permission to use Airbnb under new letting rules

The Government is to tighten the rules around allowing properties in areas of high housing demand to be used for short-term lets – such as Airbnbs. Owners of buy-to-let properties will have to get planning permission from local councils if they want to use their second homes or apartments for short-term lets, such as Airbnbs, for more than three months every year. Councils will have the power to refuse permission to owners of such properties to use them for full-time, short-term lettings.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Pat Kenny objects to apartment block next to his Dalkey home

The broadcaster Pat Kenny and his wife Kathy are opposing plans for three apartment blocks and seven houses on a site adjacent to their Dalkey home. In August, property firm, Bartra Capital Property - founded by developer Richard Barrett - paid €3.1m for the Maple Tree House site adjacent to the Kennys’ home and also bought a separate and adjoining 0.51 acre site. The planning application for the redevelopment of the south Dublin site lodged last month with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council would involve demolition of Maple Tree House and the construction of 26 units, including 19 apartments in three blocks ranging up to four storeys, as well as seven houses - five three bedroomed homes and two semi-detached.
Read the full article @ Irish Times

Tuesday 16 October 2018

‘Chopped’ facing flagship closure over planning row

Freshly Chopped is facing closure of one of its flagship outlets after it was refused retention planning permission for its branch on Dublin’s Grafton St. The salad bar/healthy eating retail chain could now be the subject of enforcement action by Dublin city council if it continues to keep the store open. It follows a ruling by An Bord Pleanála which upheld the original decision of the council to refuse planning permission for the change of use of the building from a newsagents to a delicatessen as well as for a new shopfront. The board rejected the appeal by Freshly Chopped despite the company’s warning that over 600 jobs across its entire chain of 45 stores could be under threat if it was forced to close its Grafton St branch. It accused the local authority of not facing up to “real world” issues by denying it retrospective planning permission.

Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Nama not hoarding land with residential planning permission, CEO says

The head of the National Assets Management Agency (Nama) has denied claims that they are hoarding land. CEO of Nama Brendan McDonagh was speaking before the Public Account's Committee this morning. He said that the recent public and media discussion on housing has been over simplistic and that as soon as land becomes available and is commercially viable then Nama will act.
"There seems to be a widespread but voracious assumption that any land with residential planning permission which is not actually being developed is, therefore, being hoarded. I can only speak on behalf of Nama but the point applies to others also," he said. "The reality is if you cannot fund a residential site if it is not commercially viable. Does that mean we are supporting hoarding of land? We are not. "I assure you that as soon as a site becomes commercially viable there is no hesitation on Nama's part to fund its development."
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Things are looking up in Cork as planning granted for Ireland's tallest tower

Full planning permission has been secured this week for a €140m residential development of 413 homes, to include a tower of 25 storeys, at Cork’s Jacob’s Island, near Mahon Point and the Jack Lynch Tunnel. Approved by An Bord Pleanála under the Government’s ‘fast-track’ Strategic Housing Development (SHD), the development proposes 413 apartments, in six blocks ranging from six to 25 storeys, and which, if built shortly, would be the country’s tallest tower. The application was made in July 2018 by O’Mahony Pike Architects and HWP planning consultants with a decision expected by the end of October. The planning green light was nearly three weeks ahead of that date.
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Monday 24 September 2018

Milestone Achieved for Parnell Square Cultural Quarter as Planning Application Finalised

Detailed plans for Parnell Square Cultural Quarter, which will be anchored by a new City Library, were presented in City Hall, on Monday 10 September.  The design team, led by Grafton Architects and Shaffrey Architects, is currently finalising the planning application which will be lodged with An Bord Pleanala for consideration in the coming weeks.  
The project to deliver a new cultural landmark for Dublin is being undertaken by Parnell Square Foundation, a charitable trust established by Kennedy Wilson with the support of Dublin City Council. The Foundation has been set up to raise funds and finance the project which is being developed by its wholly owned subsidiary company PSQ Developments Limited. A funding model has been agreed which will see a minimum of 55% of the project funded by philanthropy. Dublin City Council will fund a maximum of 45% of the project cost.
This major 11,000 square metre project will see a new City Library and a variety of cultural uses located in a terrace of six restored Georgian houses at 23-28 Parnell Square and a dramatic new building to be constructed to the rear.  As part of the overall plan, the Georgian houses at No 20 and No 21 Parnell Square will also be redeveloped and a new public plaza created in front of the City Library buildings and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.
The new City Library, which will replace and reimagine the current Central Library, will create an exciting new destination for learning, literature, information and culture.  Located beside Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and very close to the Irish Writers’ Centre, the Dublin Writers Museum, the Gate Theatre, Poetry Ireland and the Garden of Remembrance, it is envisaged that the Library will create a focal point for Parnell Square Cultural Quarter.
The Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring noted that the project will have a positive socio-economic impact on the immediate area of the North Inner City and on Dublin’s city centre. ““Parnell Square is the first and finest of Dublin’s Georgian Squares; it has a rich and important history with philanthropic origins. Welcoming an estimated 3,000 visitors each day, up to one million people per year, this bold and visionary project will act as a catalyst for regeneration in this part of the City, drawing Dubliners and visitors of all ages in new directions and creating new business opportunities.”
As part of the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter, the Library, in addition to developing a contemporary library space will also have a range of cultural facilities, including a music centre, a design space, an innovation hub and business library, a conference space, an education centre, a café and exhibition areas. Speaking at the launch of the plans, City Architect Ali Grehan said that the project was designed to make the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter a landmark destination that will revitalise Dublin’s historic Civic Spine. “The Public Library and Cultural Quarter will be a magnificent synthesis of historic and contemporary architecture unique to Dublin, drawing people along the pivotal route that connects Christchurch and Dublin Castle, through College Green and O’Connell Street, to Parnell Square,” she said.
Brendan Teeling, City Librarian (Acting) said: “The proposed design for the new City Library was shaped following extensive consultation with the public and stakeholders. Our objective is to create a world class library that serves local and civic communities and is consistent with the status of our capital city and our UNESCO City of Literature designation. It will inspire and excite, welcome and include, with collections, connections, places, services and programmes for learners, readers, researchers, children and families, and all citizens. It will be a place to learn, create and participate.”
Yvonne Farrell, representing the design team of Grafton Architects and Shaffrey Architects, said: “For Grafton Architects and Shaffrey Architects, this project celebrates the real value of city. It provides a new south-facing public space; it renews wonderful 18th Century houses with their beautifully proportioned rooms and it creates a memorable 21st century addition, weaving the historic and the contemporary together in an exciting way.”
Peter Collins, President, Kennedy Wilson Europe, said: “We have seen globally how major philanthropic projects can not only provide significant educational and cultural benefits to a city’s citizens but also act as a catalyst for the regeneration of whole areas.  Parnell Square Cultural Quarter is a world class project and will have huge benefits for the people of Dublin and visitors alike.”
Subject to planning permission, and the procurement of contractors, it is anticipated that the construction and commissioning stage of the new City Library project will take two to three years.
The full cost of the project to date has been funded by the Foundation through a donation by Kennedy Wilson and following lodging of planning, Kennedy Wilson will support the Foundation on the remaining philanthropic fund-raising programme.
A model of the design for the new City Library will be on display in the Central Library, Ilac Centre from 12th September until planning is lodged at which time it will be on display in Civic Offices Wood Quay from October.
Further information is available on the website

Plans afoot to build giant mural at Aviva Stadium to dissuade graffiti artists

A PLANNING APPLICATION has been lodged with Dublin City Council for a giant street art mural at the Aviva Stadium with a view to discouraging graffiti artists from painting walls in the area. The application has been lodged by New Stadium Designated Activity Company, the company charged with the management of the stadium. No cost projection for the installation has been outlined as yet. The development will consist of “the painting (of) a mural and other surface finishes by a professional street artist(s) to discourage unlawful graffiti and make a positive contribution to the streetscape and surrounding vicinity”, according to planning documents.
Read the full article @

Starbucks outlet to finally close after planning battle

A controversial Starbucks outlet on Cork city’s main street has closed after a three-year planning battle. It follows enforcement action by Cork City Council in the wake of rulings from An Bord Pleanála that planning permission would be required for the St Patrick’s St cafe to remain in business. The cafe opened in 2015 in a former mobile phone shop. But Starbucks licensed partner and the operator of its stores in Ireland, Entertainment Enterprises Group, never secured planning permission for the change of use of the building. While it argued that what was being sold was consistent with the building’s previous use as a shop, city planners disagreed and the matter was referred to An Bord Pleanála first in 2015. The board agreed the use of the premises as a coffee shop meant it was not exempt from planning. Starbucks then removed the tables, seats and toilets, arguing the location operated strictly as a takeaway and was, therefore, a shop rather than a cafe.
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Something doesn’t quite measure up about Waterford wind farm’s turbines

For two years, Sean Harris was of the opinion that a wind-farm developer had given him the runaround. He and his family were experiencing problems with the neighbouring wind farm in Ballyduff, Co Waterford. There was the noise, incessant at times. There was the siting of at least one of the 11 turbines, which he was convinced was closer to his boundary than stipulated in the planning permission. And there was something about the size of the damn things. The rotating blades just looked too big. As it was to turn out, Mr Harris and his neighbour, Ronald Krikke, were onto something. The wind farm was not built as per the specific planning permission granted by An Board Pleanála. However, the developer was not to blame. For it would emerge, at the end of a dragged out process in which the pair felt they were really being given the runarourd, that the local authority had actually given the nod to the developer without reference to An Bord Pleanála or, allegedly, the planning file.
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Row erupts over demolition plan for historic 1860s house

A planning row has erupted over plans to demolish one of the most beautiful and expensive homes in Ireland with a sea view. A local community group in the upmarket Dublin suburb of Dalkey is mounting opposition to the proposal by a wealthy businessman to knock down Sunnyside — a luxury mansion overlooking Killiney Bay. Ian Curley, the former chief executive of glass and metal company Ardagh, wants to demolish the 520 sq m house located on Vico Rd in Killiney, for which he paid €4.35m in December 2015, and replace it with an even larger dwelling. However, plans for a new three storey, five-bedroom that extends to 582 sq m are being opposed by the Dalkey Community Council. The group lodged an appeal against the recent decision of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council to approve the demolition of Sunnyside and grant planning permission for the new development.
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Controversial Howth development gets go ahead

A controversial development in the fishing village of Howth in Dublin has been given planning permission by An Bord Pleanála. The decision will see the construction of 164 apartments on a site overlooking Howth harbour and the surrounding coastline, and close to the village centre and the nearby Martello Tower. Local residents had objected to the plan citing concerns including local subsidence. The application was brought by developer Crekav, which recently had separate plans for a development beside St Anne’s Park in nearby Raheny overturned following judicial review proceedings.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Levies could raise €27m from vacant Dublin sites in 2020

More than €27 million could be raised by the four Dublin local authorities in 2020 through vacant site levies on land that could be used for housing, according to an analysis by the Department of Housing. Vacant sites worth more than €400 million have been identified at 114 locations across Dublin city and county, the vast majority of which, almost 90, are in the Dublin city area. Since January, local authorities have had the power to impose a levy on property owners who fail to develop prime housing land. The levy, set at 3 per cent of the value of the land for this year and 7 per cent for subsequent years, must be paid from 2019.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Monday 17 September 2018

'delighted' Planning permission for 500 homes near St Anne’s Park in Dublin refused by An Bord Pleanala

PLANNING permission for 500 homes near a popular park has been refused by An Bord Pleanala. The development of 432 apartments and 104 houses at St Paul’s College on Sybil Hill Road in Raheny, Dublin, beside St Anne’s Park was initially given the green light earlier this year. It was met with huge public outcry by residents in the area as the green area and playing pitches are used by locals, especially younger members of the community. A number of challenges were brought to the High Court. It was approved under planning legislation which allows applications to be fast tracked and go to An Bord Pleanala without any local authority consultation. In June, the High Court allowed the application to be remitted to the board, who could then make a fresh order on it.Today, they have refused the permission.
Read the full article @ The Sun

Planning permission a ‘game-changer’ for Cork quays

Cork City Council has approved a planning application for a €125m office development, Penrose Dock on Penrose Quay, spanning 250,000 sq ft across two buildings. Proposed by John Cleary Developments, it says it has the capacity for 2,250 jobs when completed in 2020. The decision to grant the permission comes shortly after BAM/Clarendon Properties got the green light to develop a €160m mixed-use scheme right alongside, called HQ on Horgan’s Quay, in conjunction with land owners CIE. The HQ scheme includes 237 apartments for the letting market, a hotel, and 390,000 sq ft of offices, likely to take four years to complete. Last night, JCD said it hopes to move on site as soon as next month, with 300 construction jobs via builders PJ Hegarty & Sons. It said the Wilson Architecture- designed scheme “is seen as adding substantial momentum to Cork City Council’s Docklands Development Strategy, by bringing balance to both the North and South Quays”.
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Planning granted for 40-bed unit at busy Tipperary hospital

A new 40-bed modular unit designed to alleviate pressure at one of the country's most overcrowded hospitals could be open by next spring after planning permission was secured for the development. Tipperary County Council has given the green light for the E6 million unit at South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel, which is regularly near the top of the list for trolley use for patients and often has trolleys in corridors and public areas as well as wards.  Consultants and staff at the hospital, which includes maternity services as well as a busy accident and emergency unit, surgery and other acute and general medical facilities, have been pressing for extra accommodation for years to help relieve pressure on beds.
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner