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