Tuesday 5 November 2019

KCC Refuse Planning Permission For Bord Na Mona/ESB Solar Farm

Permission for Bord na Mona/ESB application for a solar farm in parts of north and north west Kildare has been refused. The firms sought a 10 year permission for the construction and operation of 2 areas of solar photovoltaic arrays mounted on metal frames over an area of approximately 200 hectares. The relevant lands are in Drehid, Mulgeeth, Ballynamullagh, Mucklon, Kilmurray (Carbury By), Killyon and Timahoe East. Kildare County Council refused to grant permission, having regard to its policy "expressed in NH5 Section 13.7 of the Kildare County Development Plan, 2017-2023, to inter alia protect favourable conservation status of habitats and protected species, including those listed under the Bird Directive, the Wildlife Acts and the Habitats Directive and to protect and promote the conservation of biodiversity outside of designated areas and to ensure that species and habitats that are protected under the above legislation are adequately protected". It is open to the applicants to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála.
Read the full article @ kfmradio.com

Planning Permission Granted For €30M State Data Centre In Kildare

Kildare County Council granted planning permission for a €30 million state data centre. The planning application, submitted by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer at the Dept. of Expenditure and Reform in February,  is for a portion of the government's campus at Backweston in Celbridge. Leave is sought for a data centre with a total footprint of 5,474sqm, with an additional c.2826sqm in external plant area. Kildare County Council, on two occasions, requested more detailed information on the proposal. It has now granted planning permission.
Read the full article @ kfmradio.com

Plans lodged for state's first integrated housing scheme for older people at St Michael's Estate

A PLANNING APPLICATION for the first batch of more than 500 new homes at St Michael’s Estate in Inchicore has been lodged with Dublin City Council. Circle Voluntary Housing Association has applied to construct 52 apartments as part of a pilot housing scheme which aims to provide social benefits to older people. The scheme is separate to plans announced last year for hundreds of new homes at the site, which will form Ireland’s first-ever ‘cost rental’ housing scheme. It will act as an integrated housing development for older people which will allow them to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

Read the full article @ www.thejournal.ie

Why foundations of our building regulations are as weak as ever

In August 2016, customers of the Liffey Valley Gym in west Dublin found out that it had closed down … The gym had been open since 2004, in a building known as Larkfield House. Larkfield House is owned by a company called Cavvies Ltd, controlled by local businessman, Vincent Cosgrave, and his daughter Jackie. The family also owns three hotels in west Dublin, as well as other business interests. Almost immediately after the closure of the gym, a planning application was lodged with South Dublin County Council to convert the building into apartments. What happened thereafter, in terms of building control, was shocking. The law was not so much broken, as completely trampled on. Regulations that were supposed to be watertight were exposed as little better than useless. And despite what has now emerged, there is, as of yet, no sign that any prosecution will take place.

Read Michael Clifford's full article @ www.irishexaminer.com

Judicial review into Cork €6.5m Docklands road network scheme

A JUDICIAL review is to be carried out into a proposed €6.5m plan to transform the city Docklands road network in anticipation of future development of offices and homes. The plans were recently granted planning permission by Cork City Council but an application to the High Court by the Save Cork City association has resulted in a judicial review of the ‘Cork Docklands to City Centre Road Network Improvement Scheme’. The scheme will seek to improve flows between the city centre, Docklands, and the N27, through a raft of measures which will include works on Victoria Road, Albert Road, Centre Park Road, Monahan Road, and as far as City Hall.
Read the full article @ www.echolive.ie

Application for 245 build-to-rent apartments in Cookstown

A PROPERTY developer has submitted a new planning application for the development of 245 build-to-rent apartments on Fourth Avenue in Cookstown Industrial Estate, after their previous planning application for the same site was deemed invalid last May. Steelworks Property Developments Limited lodged an application for a pre-planning consultation with An Bord Pleanála (ABP) about plans for a 336-unit residential development on Fourth Avenue through the ABP fast-track system, however ABP deemed the plans invalid. On October 18, Steelworks lodged a planning application with ABP, where they downsized their plans for 336 apartments on Fourth Avenue to 245. It is proposed in their planning application that existing industrial buildings will be demolished to make way for the development, and provision for associated site works is included in the plans. A decision on the application is due from ABP by February 17 next year.
Read the full article @ www.echo.ie

Planning appeal could force demolition of €22m Dublin airport facility

A residents’ group living near Dublin Airport has lodged a planning appeal which, if successful, could result in the demolition of a €22 million passenger boarding facility, which opened only two years ago. The St Margaret’s/the Ward Residents’ Group is challenging a recent decision of Fingal County Council to omit a condition contained in the original grant of planning permission for the building. The condition stipulated that the permission was only for a seven-year period after which the building would be removed in its entirety and reinstated to its former position. The single-storey building, which was completed in October 2017, provides waiting and boarding areas for passengers.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Planning application for €7m Cork project will be watched closely in Donegal and along Wild Atlantic Way

The success or otherwise of a planning application for a €7m project along the Wild Atlantic Way in Cork will be watched closely by those planning or thinking about similar major tourism projects elsewhere along the route, and in particular in Donegal. The €7m Dursey Island project in Cork has been described by objectors as "undermining" the quality and experience of Ireland’s wild coastal landscape. An Taisce, Birdwatch Ireland, and Friends of the Irish Environment have all submitted extensive objections to the application by Cork County Council in partnership with Fáilte Ireland to An Bord Pleanala for a €7m development on Dursey Island off the west Cork coast.
Read the full article @ www.donegaldemocrat.ie

Monday 4 November 2019

Nuns avoid vacant site levy, saying field used for prayer

A community of nuns in Dublin has avoided having to pay a vacant site levy by claiming a meadow was used as a location for exercise and prayer. The Carmelite order has successfully challenged a decision of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to place an overgrown field they own near Stillorgan on the vacant site register in December 2018. The nuns claimed a circular path surrounding the site at the Carmelite Monastery of St Joseph on Kilmacud Road Upper was in regular use for exercise and prayer. The local authority believed the 1.64 hectare site should be registered as vacant as it was not in use and situated in an area where there was a need for housing as well as being zoned for residential development.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

An Bord Pleanála uphold planning refusal for Cork Educate Together Secondary School

An Bord Pleanála (ABP) has upheld the decision to refuse planning for a permanent building for Cork Educate Together Secondary School, mainly due to concerns about traffic. The proposed 600-student development in Douglas would “give rise to traffic hazard”, and could obstruct road users and endanger pedestrians, the national planning authority agreed. "Having regard to the internal road layout of the proposed development, the Board considered that it would give rise to serious pedestrian and vehicular conflict," ABP said in its decision.
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Friday 25 October 2019

Apartments drive planning permissions surge in second quarter

A new report by Goodybody Stockbrokers has found that a surge in planning permissions for apartments was behind a 42% year on year (yoy) in increase in residential permissions in Ireland in the second quarter of the year. The number of apartment units given planning permission in the second quarter amounted to 4,675, up 156% on the same period last year, and takes the total for the year to date to 7,267. To put this into context, only 2,745 apartments have been completed in total over the last twelve months. The surge comes on the back of a change building height standards at the end of 2018 and amid very significant interest from the Build-to-Rent sector.
Read the full article @ www.businessworld.ie

New app for planning application information

Esri Ireland has announced that the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government is launching a new open data web service on its digital mapping platform. The two websites (the second the map based option) can be found at: 


The service will enable members of the public to access and review information about planned developments in their local areas going back as far as 2010.
As planning information is presented in map form, it will be easier for people to visualise where developments are taking place.
The new database was designed and implemented using Esri’s ArcGIS, and is being made available for viewing and analysis via the ArcGIS Open Data platform, the world’s fastest growing open data platform.
Currently 31 local authorities are responsible for the provision of a planning authority function in Ireland, and these authorities create and collect planning applications and assign coordinates to each application.
However, prior to Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s implementation of the database there was no standard mechanism in place to manage the storage of planning application data.
The development of the National Planning Application Database marks a further step towards the creation of a data infrastructure for geography and statistics that will ultimately facilitate evidence-based decision making across the public sector, a statement from Esri Ireland said.
"For the first time, stakeholders and other interested parties will have access to a visual representation of planned development throughout Ireland, enabling them to track development and contributing to more efficient national infrastructure planning in the future," Eamonn Doyle, CTO, Esri Ireland, said.
From press release. 

‘Cultural change’ needed for communities to accept high density housing

Communities need to undergo a “cultural change” to accept sustainable high density housing developments, Minister of State for Housing Damien English has told an Irish Planning Institute conference. Planners must build trust with people to help them see “what’s best for them” rather than “what they think they actually want”, Mr English said, if the goals of compact growth and the sustainable regeneration of towns and cities are to be achieved. 
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Locals appeal plan to fell 1930s trees over wheelchair access

Residents of Glasnevin in north Dublin have appealed to Dublin City Council not to fell 90-year-old trees that the local authority said are living in a “hostile environment”.The council plans to fell the mature lime trees on St Canice’s Road following complaints from a wheelchair user in relation to the condition of the footpath surrounding the trees and the difficulties in access which the trees cause. However, residents said the trees could be retained if the council repaired and properly maintained the footpaths.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Plans for new ESB power station at Poolbeg in doubt

Plans for a new ESB power station at Poolbeg are in doubt as planning authorities have raised concerns about the choice of location for the new facility. The ESB is seeking planning permission from Dublin City Council to build a new 75 megawatt flexible thermal generation plant at the Ringsend site. However, council planners have questioned the location of the development and why alternative sites on other ESB lands were not considered.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Over 650 apartments planned beside St Anne’s Park in Raheny

The developer behind controversial plans for 536 houses and apartments beside St Anne’s Park in Raheny has lodged a new application for more than 650 apartments on the site. The apartment-only scheme would see Crevkav build 657 apartments in blocks up to nine storeys in height, along with almost 500 parking spaces on former playing fields east of St Paul’s College beside the park. The number of homes in the new scheme would represent an increase of more than 20 per cent on previous plans, but no houses are proposed as part of the new application to An Bord Pleanála.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

The interpretation of the building height guidelines in Strategic Development Zones

There is a growing sense of disillusionment in those communities around Ireland that have been finding out that their County Development Plan’s or Local Area Plan’s building heights restrictions appear to have been dismissed by statutory guidelines. The ‘Urban Development and Building Heights’ statutory guidelines were issued in December 2018 by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government. Many communities feel that statutory guidance should not be allowed to over-ride democratically produced development plans and consider that the courts may need to intervene in this area. 
One area where the courts have been involved is in the interpretation of the guidelines as they apply in Strategic Development Zones; it is now clear that the guidelines do not provide for extant SDZ planning schemes to be over-ruled with regard to building heights. 
Before the summer, Mr Justice Simons handed down a judgment relating to a case entitled Spencer Place Development Company Limited v Dublin City Council (2019/239 JR). The dispute between the parties related to the interpretation and interaction between the statutory building height guidelines and statutory planning schemes adopted for strategic development zones. The guidelines, entitled "Urban Development and Building Heights", were issued in December 2018, (the “Guidelines”).
Background to case
Spencer Place Development Company Ltd is the Developer and leaseholder of lands at Spencer Place, Spencer Dock, Dublin 1. The lands are located in an area which has been designated as a strategic development zone, or SDZ, known as the North Lotts and Grand Canal Strategic Development Zone.
The Developer submitted two applications for planning permission to Dublin City Council (DCC) seeking to obtain permission for additional storeys on two sites. The proposed development would exceed the maximum building heights prescribed under the relevant planning scheme. 

The Developer argued that the legal effect of the Guidelines is that the planning authority is now authorised to grant planning permission even though the maximum height restriction for a development within an SDZ was exceeded. The parties disagreed over whether the relevant policy under the Guidelines distinguishes between a planning scheme and a development plan. The Developer sought declarations as to the meaning and effect of the Guidelines. The Developer argued that the two planning applications fell to be determined by reference to the Guidelines. They contended that that the Guidelines authorise Dublin City Council to grant planning permission even though the proposed scale of the development conflicts with the building heights restrictions governing the North Lotts planning scheme.
The dispute centred around the interpretation and application of a particular provision of the Guidelines known as “SPPR 3”. The abbreviation "SPPR" refers to a "specific planning policy requirement". The overall objective of the Guidelines is to give tangible effect to government policy which supports increased building height and density in locations with good public transport accessibility. These typically occur in towns and cities. In these areas, planning authorities are required to explicitly identify areas where increased building height will be actively pursued, and not to provide for blanket numerical limitations on building height. Planning authorities are also required to ensure an appropriate mixture of uses in developments, such as housing and commercial or employment. The Guidelines identify development management criteria which must be taken into account when authorities assess individual planning applications. Where the relevant planning authority considers that these criteria are appropriately incorporated into development proposals, then the planning authority is required to apply SPPR 3.
In this case, the Developer sought three declarations by way of relief:
- A declaration that the interpretation in the briefing note of 31 January 2019  is ultra vires and/or incorrect as a matter of law.
- A declaration that Dublin City Council is obliged to apply SPPR 3(A) in the determination of planning applications for development within the area of any SDZ planning scheme, including the North Lotts and Grand Canal Planning Scheme 2014, as of the date of the publication of the Guidelines.
- A declaration that Dublin City Council is obliged to apply and/or comply with the Guidelines prior to undertaking and/or completing any review and/or amendment of the North Lotts and Grand Canal Planning Scheme.

Court decision
The Court was satisfied that the developer’s interpretation of SPPR 3 was not correct for the following three reasons, being that:
- It necessitated imputing a level of legal knowledge to a member of the public which is impermissible under the "ordinary meaning" test.

- It was inconsistent with the general approach of the Guidelines whereby the terms "development plan" and "planning scheme" are used disjunctively. At a number of points in the Guidelines, development plans, local area plans and planning schemes are referred to as separate items within the same paragraph, which indicates that the Guidelines are employing the term "development plan" in its ordinary meaning, and not the extended meaning of "development plan plus planning scheme". The Court took the view that the reference to a "development plan" under SPPR 3(A) must be understood as referring to a composite of the development plan and the planning scheme.
- If SPPR 3(A) was intended to include a composite reference to a "planning scheme", then the Guidelines would have the immediate effect of overriding the planning scheme and such an effect would not be contingent on the carrying out of and completion of a review and amendment of the planning scheme.

In its consideration of the issues, the Court also considered the interaction between Ministerial guidelines and the SEA Directive. Justice Simons held that on its ordinary meaning, SPPR 3(A) did not apply to a planning scheme in respect of an SDZ and that this finding is sufficient in and of itself to dispose of the Developer's argument. The Judge held that the correct interpretation of the Guidelines is put beyond all doubt when one has regard to the environmental statement published as part of the decision-making process required under the SEA Directive. This document not only identifies the amendments between the draft Guidelines and the "as issued" Guidelines, but also explains the precise rationale for distinguishing between a development plan and a planning scheme.
The Court held that SPPR 3 (A) does not apply to a planning scheme. The most that the Guidelines do is to require a planning authority to review and amend a planning scheme. This process must be carried out in accordance with the statutory procedure prescribed. In particular, it may be necessary to undertake an environmental assessment of the amendments for the purposes of the SEA Directive.
The Court also held that it would be necessary to seek the confirmation of An Bord Pleanala of any proposed amendments to an existing planning scheme. Therefore, the fact that the Minister has issued guidelines is not necessarily conclusive of the outcome of the statutory process of amendment.
It was further held that pending the making of an amendment to a planning scheme, any planning application made in the interim falls to be determined by reference to the extant planning scheme. On their correct interpretation, therefore, the Guidelines do not authorise a planning authority to dis-apply the criteria prescribed under a planning scheme for an SDZ.
The Court did not grant the Developer any of the declarations sought and dismissed the application for judicial review in its entirety.
Increasing prevailing building heights has a critical role to play in addressing the delivery of more compact growth in urban areas, particularly in cities and large towns through enhancing both the scale and density of development. Planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála will be required to have regard to the Guidelines and apply any specific planning policy requirements (SPPRs) of the Guidelines in carrying out their functions. However, notwithstanding the significance of the Guidelines, developers should take note that:
- Pending the making of an amendment to a planning scheme, any planning application made falls to be determined by reference to the relevant planning scheme.
- The Guidelines do not supersede the height caps in the Special Development Zone (SDZ) where a building is being developed, particularly if the building height would not be consistent with the provisions of the planning scheme
- There is no right of appeal to An Bord Pleanála on local authority planning decisions on building height if they are in a SDZ area.
Summary of 2019/239 JR and online records of this case. 

Planning permission has been granted for 104 apartments in Johnstown

A planning application for 104 apartments at Metges Road, Johnstown has been granted by An Bord Pleanàla. Concern had been expressed at proposals for four apartment blocks ranging from four to five storeys containing, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, as well as commercial units at Metges Road with residents coming out in force earlier this year in protest against the move. The application granted consists of four buildings ranging in height from four to five storeys over basement on a site measuring 1.23 hectares. It will contain 104 apartments (20 one-bed, 76 two-bed and eight three-bed) as well as 1,536 square metres of commercial space including a crèche, sports facility, offices, own-door commercial units and ancillary spaces.
Read the full article @ Meath Chronicle

Nenagh tops Tipperary County Council's planning application list

This biggest number of planning applications made to Tipperary County Council in 2019 have come from the Nenagh district area, local councillors have been told. Senior engineer Brian Beck revealed at the October meeting of Nenagh Municipal District Council that of the 770 applications received to date this year, 221 have been from the Nenagh area. A total of 205 have got the go ahead with just eight applications being refused.
Read the full article @ www.tipperarylive.ie

Developers risk losing fast-track permission unless start made

Developers seeking to avail of fast-track planning may be given just one year to start building or risk losing their permission. Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy is expected to announce an extension to the availability of the sped-up process for Strategic Housing Developments (SHD) in the autumn. Such developments, comprising 100 or more new dwellings or student or shared accommodation of more than 200 bed spaces, can bypass councils in the planning process. The system allows An Bord Pleanála to grant directly or refuse permission for these developments. The policy was introduced in July 2017 and was intended initially to apply until the end of this year, with the possibility of extending it to 2021.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Bord Pleanála rejects ‘fast-track’ plans for 3,770 new homes

It has been a rough couple of weeks down the planning office for a number of leading developers and investors who now have to revise plans for thousands of proposed new homes, following several decisions made by An Bord Pleanála (ABP) in the last week of June. The planning authority issued decisions in respect of 14 applications and pre-applications relating to proposed Strategic Housing Developments (SHD), which are developments comprising 100 or more new dwellings dealt with by the planning authority under fast-track planning regulations. 
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Nearly 70% rise in applications for large-scale housing developments

The number of applications for large scale housing developments is up nearly 70% according to An Bord Pleanála's annual report. The planning authority reports that there were a total of 66 applications for Strategic Housing Developments (SHD) in the first eight months of this year which involve plans for more than 100 housing units or 200 student bed spaces. This compares with just 37 in the same period last year.
Read the full article @ RTE.ie

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Planning free-for-all has developers reaching for the sky

The characteristic human scale of Dublin is now more in peril than at any time in its history, and the same is true of the State’s “second-tier” cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford, as well as numerous smaller towns – all due to ultra-liberal planning guidelines that effectively permit developers to build whatever they like wherever they like. The mandatory guidelines on building heights imposed by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy last December have inaugurated an unprecedented free-for-all that looks certain to result in the relatively low-rise skylines of our urban areas being sacrificed on the altar of profit or hubris, with random eruptions of high-rise buildings all over the place.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Monday 16 September 2019

Fast track planning permission being sought for 17-storey apartment tower in Cork city

Fast track planning permission is being sought this week for a 17-storey apartment tower at a density of 454 units per hectare, on Cork city’s South Link Road, on a compact site previously a rail track goods yard and sidings. The application for 118 apartments aimed at the Build to Rent (BTR) sector will be made directly to An Bord Pleanala for the development, on a 0.26 hectare site, linking to Rockborough Road by Bord Gais’s HQ, and to the South Link pedestrian bridge linking to Hibernian Road towards Anglesea Street. Being christened Railway Gardens and promoted by the Scally family who own the site and the adjoining business OB Heating, the site previously had planning permission granted in 2008 for offices. 
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

New plaza approved for north side of Ha’penny Bridge

The creation of a new pedestrian plaza for Dublin beside the Ha’penny Bridge on Liffey Street, has been approved by city councillors, despite objections from car park owners. The council earlier this year decided to draw up plans for a new plaza on the northside of the city following the refusal by An Bord Pleanála of the College Green plaza. A planned water feature incorporating a line of water jets, or mini fountains, has been scrapped after the council determined it would be “visually incongruous” and “impeding to the movement of pedestrians”.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Removal of on-street parking in BusConnects plans ‘problematic’

Designers of the BusConnects plan should seek to limit the removal of on-street parking in residential areas, Dublin City Council’s city planning officer has told the National Transport Authority (NTA). In a submission to the NTA, John O’Hara said the removal of on-street parking under the plans, particularly in residential areas where there is a reliance on such parking, is “problematic”.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Bord Pleanála rejects appeal by Josepha Madigan to relocate turf-cutters

Plans by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, to relocate turf-cutters to allow them extract peat from a raised bog in Co Kildare have been rejected because the activity would add to greenhouse gas emissions. An Bord Pleanála has turned down an appeal by the Minister against a decision of Kildare County Council to refuse her department planning permission for a proposal to allow turf-cutting at Coolree Bog near Prosperous, Co Kildare.
Read the full article @ Irish Times

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Two Newtown planning appeals are turned down

An Bord Pleanála has upheld two planning rejections in Newtownmountkennedy after appeals were lodged against Wicklow County Council's decision to refuse permission last year. The appeals involved a business and enterprise building (to include a country market) and a separate application for motor car showrooms, both at Mountkennedy Demesne. In August of last year, Wicklow County Council refused Harvieston Ltd permission for a business and enterprise building consisting of an indoor country market, own-door starter employment units, enterprise units, childcare facility, food hall and kitchen, food business development units, toilet facilities along with parking and set down areas, relocation of existing pumping station along with ancillary site development works and services. In turning down the application, planners maintained that the development would be contrary to the zoning objective and overall vision for this action area.

Read the full article @ The Wicklow People

Planning application for Limerick Opera site lodged with An Bord Pleanála

Plans for Limerick's Opera site project have moved a step closer today.  Limerick City and County Council has lodged a planning application to An Bord Pleanála for the development.  The project is expected to employ up to 3,000 people and will be the largest inner-city commercial development outside of Dublin.  As well as a 14-storey office building, there are also plans for an apart-hotel, restaurants, and retail space. The 1.62-hectare site will be developed over a six-year period at a total cost of around €180m. 
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Bartra seeking green light for 700-bed project

Richard Barrett's Bartra Capital has lodged plans to bring 725 new beds to a development in south-west Dublin. The developer has a €600m residential pipeline, including more than 1,500 shared living units. Bartra has been hit with numerous planning delays, especially at its scheme in Bulloch Harbour in South Dublin. Despite the delays, Bartra said that it was "hopeful" its huge development in Cookstown near Tallaght would be approved. The proposed development is made up of 150 build-to-rent units in five- to six-storey blocks and a further 222 shared-living bedrooms in six- to eight-storey blocks. Shared living was accounted for in recent changes to apartment guidelines by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. It bridges the gap between apartments and student accommodation. Occupants have their own en-suite room but share a communal kitchen and living area.

Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

Cork-Limerick motorway 'a shocking waste of taxpayers' money', lobby group says

A lobby group has said building a direct motorway link between Cork and Limerick is a major waste of taxpayers' money, because there is another one planned which will link the two cities. The Cork-Limerick Alliance Group (CLAG) says a proposed motorway between Cahir, Co Tipperary and Limerick would link up with the M8 (Cork-Dublin motorway) and it would be just as easy for traffic coming out of Cork to travel up the M8 and join it at Cahir. CLAG chairman, Brian Hyde, said the Cahir-Limerick route would cost approximately €550m to construct and would be considerably cheaper than the €900m direct link motorway (M20) between Cork and Limerick.
Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Southside leg of Metro axed under new plan

The proposed southside leg of the long-awaited MetroLink line is set to be massively curtailed. The line will not go all the way to Sandyford, as originally planned, as a result of opposition from residents and fears of years of disruption to the Luas Green Line. Meanwhile, the Irish Independent has learned that on the northside, facilities for Na Fianna and Ballymun Kickhams GAA clubs are set to be protected.  Key details of the new plan include: The Metro will run from Swords to Charlemont Street to meet the existing Luas service. The Metro will not continue down the Green Line to Sandyford, as had been proposed. Underground drilling is to continue as far as Ranelagh to allow for future expansion. Green Line Luas services are to be upgraded over the next decade to allow for a 55m tram every two minutes. The tunnel will be single bore.

Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

Planning appeal told of ‘controversy’ over Cork incinerator site

A legal challenge over the granting of planning permission for a €160 million incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour has opened at the High Court. Mr Justice David Barniville heard that planning permission was granted last May but a planning inspector with An Bord Pleanála had recommended that it be refused. Maurice Collins SC, for a group opposing the incinerator, said there has been “a continuum of planning activity and controversy” connected to the site at Cork Harbour.  Counsel said the inspector had recommended refusal of planning permission but An Bord Pleanala granted the permission by a five to two majority. 
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Hope of rents being cut by €500 a month under major new affordable homes plan

A new scheme which aims to slash the rent of a two-bed apartment by more than €500 a month has been unveiled. The Land Development Agency has outlined plans for the country's first large-scale affordable rental plan. It aims to help solve the housing crisis by building thousands of homes and offering them at rent up to 25pc below the market rate. The typical rent for a two-bed apartment in south Dublin would fall from €1,850 to €1,302 a month under the proposed scheme. This would give the squeezed middle and lower- paid workers, who cannot get a mortgage, the chance to get a foothold in the market. The first project will be rolled out from the end of the year with the development of more than 300 homes in Dublin - but thousands more are in the pipeline. The first scheme is likely to be at Shanganagh in Shankill, in partnership with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

Ronan docklands project under fire from residents

Plans by developer Johnny Ronan to increase the scale of a residential and aparthotel development in Dublin's docklands are being opposed by a number of local residents. Last month, Mr Ronan's Spencer Place Development Co Ltd lodged plans to add 122 residential units and 27 aparthotel rooms to the development. If granted, it would give Mr Ronan's firm planning permission to construct 471 residential units and a 127-bedroom aparthotel. The development is currently under construction and is due to be complete in 2020. However, seven locals have objected including Tony and Hilda McDonnell of Upper Mayor Street who have told the city council that permission must be refused as the application goes against the objectives of the North Lotts Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) planning scheme. 

Read the full article @ The Irish Independent