Thursday, 30 September 2021

Bord na Móna plans renewable energy business park for midlands

Bord na Móna, set up 75 years ago to harvest the State’s peatlands, has announced plans to develop the first Irish dedicated renewable-energy business park as it continues its transformation into a climate solutions group. The semi-State company said that the so-called energy park will be developed on more than 7,400 acres of its landbank in counties Meath, Offaly and Westmeath.

Read the full story @ The Irish Times

Planning permission approved for Howth apartments despite residents' objections

Residents in Howth in north Dublin have failed in attempts to prevent An Bord Pleanála from giving the green light to “fast track” plans for an apartment scheme for Deer Park in Howth. However, the appeals board has reduced the scale of the scheme from 162 apartments to 113 apartments after ordering the removal of the top floor in each of the three apartment blocks, resulting in a maximum height of four to five storeys.

Read the full story @ The Journal

Government announces 'comprehensive review' of the states planning laws

 A major review of Ireland’s planning laws has been announced by the Government in a move designed to help implement its national housing strategy. Cabinet this evening signed off on the review, to be overseen by the Attorney General, which is due for completion in September next year. Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the the country’s planning laws need “a complete overhaul” to deliver on the targets set out in the Housing For All strategy. The main focus of the review will be the Planning and Development Act of 2000, which has been amended on numerous occasions, with a view to consolidating the law. 

Read the full story @ The Irish Times

Monday, 27 September 2021

Kilkenny cheese plant controversy: Supreme Court to hear appeal against planning decision

 An Taisce has been given permission to appeal to the Supreme Court a High Court decision which dismissed its appeal against the granting of planning permission for a multi-million euro cheese factory in Kilkenny. The environmental NGO has raised concerns about the assessment of the environmental impact of the plant, and challenged An Bord Pleanála’s decision to allow it. It brought the initial challenge to the High Court – but this case was quashed by the court earlier this year. In July, the High Court also dismissed An Taisce’s challenge to seek leave to appeal the decision.  Last month, the board of An Taisce unanimously agreed to seek leave to appeal in the Supreme Court. This has now been approved, paving the way for the group to bring the challenge forward to Ireland’s highest court. 

Read the full story @ The Journal

Plan to tackle housing crisis described as ‘unrealistic’

 Part of the Government’s plan to tackle the country’s chronic housing crisis has been criticised as “unrealistic” and “more of the same”. Earlier this month, the Government unveiled its plans to spend four billion euro annually on building 33,000 new homes every year by the end of the decade. The Housing For All plan has committed to building an average of 9,500 social homes every year and to eradicate homelessness by 2030.

Read the full story @

Rezoning of south Dublin lands questioned by regulator


Lack of transport and schools puts areas in west Dublin under 'development pressure'

Planning regulators have told South Dublin County Council not to rezone rural land between the expanding suburbs of Lucan and Leixlip for housing, saying the area is under “considerable development pressure”. In an assessment of the council’s 2022-28 draft development plan, the regulators also questioned the level of housing foreseen for the west Dublin villages of Rathcoole and Newcastle because of concerns about rapid population growth. Although the Office of the Planning Regulator welcomed the majority of the council’s housing policies and objectives, it wants some specific measures changed. The office was formed in 2019 to oversee planning, one of its jobs being to assess development plans for national policy compliance.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Campaigners gather in Dublin to protest ‘unfair’ planning system


Environmental groups call for ‘overhaul’ of process to give communities greater say

Environmental groups from across Ireland gathered outside An Bord Pleanála in Dublin on Friday to protest against the current planning system which they claim “lacks meaningful public participation”. Standing outside the planning board’s offices on Malborough Street, Derry Chambers said he and the Cork Environmental Alliance had been caught up in a planning battle for 20 years against a proposed €160 million incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork harbour, which Indaver Ireland has been seeking to build since 2001. “We’ve won everywhere. We won twice in the High Court but An Bord Pleanála overruled it and it’s in the High Court for a third time at the moment. Over the past 20 years, it’s cost the communities at the harbour over €1 million between court cases and various other fees, and it’s just not fair,” he said. It was “nothing short of a national scandal” that companies could play “ducks and drakes” with Irish planning law, he said.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

High Court overturns new planning permission for 657 apartments for St Anne’s Park in Raheny

 The High Court has overturned fresh planning permission for a controversial development of 657 apartments on lands near St Anne's Park in Raheny. The proposed development has so far clocked up four decisions of An Bord Pleanála and ten sets of legal proceedings “and counting”, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys noted. In a judgment on Friday, he quashed the Board’s third permission, dated August 2020, for the proposed development on former lands of St Paul's College, Sybil Hill Road, Raheny, by Crekav Trading GP Ltd, part of Pat Crean's Marlet group. In 2018, the Board granted its first permission, for 536 dwellings on the site, but that was overturned by the High Court and remitted for reconsideration.

Read the full article @ The Irish Independent 

Planning board ‘significantly underestimated’ strategic housing work

  An Bord Pleanála told the Government it had “significantly underestimated” just how much work would be involved in dealing with applications under the controversial Strategic Housing Development (SHD) application process. The planning board said it had assigned just six inspectors to the process at first, but that this had more than doubled under the weight of work required. In a submission to the Department of Public Expenditure-led review of the National Development Plan, the board said it needed 16 extra staff to manage its workload. The agency said a major increase in manpower would be needed to deal with the “predicted surge in applications and the increased complexity of cases that come before us”.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Citywest housing delayed by site ownership dispute, court told

 A dispute about who owns a valuable three-acre site beside the Citywest Hotel and conference centre complex in Dublin is holding up plans for a €50 million housing development, it has been claimed in the Commercial Court. Two companies claim ownership of the land at Garter’s Lane, Saggart, which is earmarked for a development of 224 housing units for which planning permission was granted by An Bord Pleanála last December. The hotel and conference centre operators and owners, Cape Wrath Hotel Unlimited, say they own the land. They have obtained permission to build the residential development, which they say will provide significant affordable housing and deliver a large range of amenities for the local community.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Friday, 12 March 2021

Residents get leave to challenge Dundrum apartment development

 A residents’ group has obtained permission from the High Court to bring a legal challenge aimed at overturning planning approval for a development of 446 apartments in Dundrum, Co Dublin. Concerned Residents of Wesley Estate, Clonard Estate and Ballawley Court Estate, with an address at Sandyford, Co Dublin, has brought the judicial review proceedings against An Bord Pleanála and the State. It wants orders quashing the board’s permission of January 6th last for 446 apartments, in four blocks, and associated works at the site of Gort Mhuire Carmelite Centre, (Marmalade Lane) Wyckham Avenue, Dundrum, Dublin. The fast-track permission was granted to 1 Wyckham Land Ltd after the board designated the proposed development a strategic housing development under the Planning and Development (Housing and Residential Tenancies) Act 2016.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Monday, 1 March 2021

Surge in strategic housing developments being quashed

 Earlier this week a report by construction consultants Mitchell McDermott outlined the spike last year in the number of potential units in strategic housing developments (SHDs) in Dublin that were either quashed or held up by judicial reviews. While 508 potential housing units were affected by judicial reviews in Dublin in 2019 that figure jumped to 5,802 last year – thus thwarting the fast-track element of the process. The SHD process was introduced by the government in 2017 to provide a fast-track mechanism for planning permissions for housing schemes with 100-plus units. Essentially, it allows the developer to bypass the local authority and seek permission directly from An Bord Pleanála. It was a key policy measure designed to tackle the housing crisis, which has persisted for about a decade and is a major issue with voters.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Judicial reviews arising in Strategic Housing Development cases as there is no other appeal option

 A new report has found that the number of units in planned Strategic Housing Developments (SHD) in Dublin that have been delayed or cancelled as a result of judicial reviews has risen tenfold in the last year. Last year 5,802 potential new apartments and houses were impacted by legal challenges to SHDs, compared to just 508 a year earlier. The annual construction sector report by consultants Mitchell McDermott, also found that judicial reviews involving SHDs nationally had risen seven-fold, from 1,048 units in 2019 to 6,969 last year. SHDs involve a faster than normal planning process and can only be used for developments of 100 apartments or houses or more than 200 student beds.

Read the full story @

Monday, 22 February 2021

Developer expresses 'serious concerns' over move to make former Player Wills factory in Dublin a Protected Structure

DEVELOPER HINES HAS expressed “serious” concerns over a proposal to place The Player Wills Factory on Dublin’s South Circular Road on The Record of Protected Structures [RPS]. Legal representatives for Hines – which plans to redevelop the site to build 492 apartments and 240 co-living beds - wrote to Councillors last week to express concern over this proposal. Hines has been granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for 416 homes – including a 16-storey apartment block – on a site adjacent to Player Wills. Local residents are taking judicial review proceedings against An Bord Pleanála’s decision in this case. Separately, locals have already expressed opposition to a 19-storey apartment block as part of Hines’ Player Wills redevelopment which will form part of the overall scheme.

Read the full story @ www.the 

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Wicklow wind farm plan is re-submitted

An application to develop a wind farm at Kilranelagh Hill has been lodged with Wicklow County Council. ABO Wind Ireland Ltd have applied for permission to construct five 165m wind turbines at Kilranelagh Hill, outside Baltinglass. Their application was re-submitted and validated by Wicklow County Council’s planning section. An application submitted last month was deemed incomplete by the local authority. The project includes the construction of five wind turbines with a maximum blade tip height of 165m, a transformer at each turbine, an electrical substation, underground cabling along the public roads to facilitate the connection of the wind farm substation to the existing Stratford substation and other associated site works. Permission is also to be sought for a 1km heritage trail, car parking, replacement of the existing grass verge with a footway at several bridge crossings and other associated site works.

Read the full article @ Wicklow People


THE 1020 planning applications received in Waterford during 2020 was the highest recorded figure for the city and county since 2008, according to the local authority’s February Management Report. This exceeded the 2019 tally of 1010. The report notes that “the monthly figure of 133 applications received in December 2020 is also the highest monthly figure received since 2008. This monthly figure of 133 applications received is 25% higher than the next highest monthly figure of 107 applications received in that 12-year period”. In addition, 690 applications were granted planning permission in 2020, compared to the 725 approved in 2019.

Read the full article @ Waterford News & Star

Government urged on 'use it or lose it' law for housing permissions

Home builders are urging the Government not to introduce a "use it or lose it" requirement for large scale housing permissions. New laws are being considered to compel builders to start work within a fixed period following a Strategic Housing Development (SHD) permission after it emerged that only around 30% had gone ahead. Applications for more 100 homes or 200 student places can go straight to An Bord Pleanála as Strategic Housing Developments as part of a fast-track system introduced in 2017. In a new report on planning reform by the Irish Home Builders Association said delays are being caused by local authorities themselves and by the increasing use of Judicial Reviews by residents and environmentalists to challenge development.

Read the full article @

Planning issue set to delay Cairn Homes' Montrose plans

An Bord Pleanala is expected to consent next month to a High Court order quashing permission for 614 residential units on former RTE lands. Cairn Homes had been granted full planning permission by An Bord Pleanála last September to develop the 8.7 acre site at Montrose in Dublin 4. The company had planned to build 611 apartments, as well as town houses, a new public park, a childcare facility, cafes, and leisure facilities on the site. Three residents living close to the proposed development on Ailesbury Road residents had brought proceedings challenging the permission for the development close to their homes. They have also challenged the constititutionality of provisions of the Strategic Housing Act (SHA) providing for the fast-tracking of large housing developments. Arising from a development in the case and correspondence between lawyers for the applicants and the Board, a hearing date fixed later this year for the challenge was vacated on Thursday by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys.On consent of the sides, the judge adjourned the matter for mention only on February 8th when the court will address the consequences of expected concessions from the Board.

Read the full article @

482 apartments and 22-storey block proposed for Carrickmines

Planning permission has been filed with An Bord Pleanala (ABP) for the development of 482 apartments as a Strategic Housing Development (SHD) on a site at Golf Lane, Carrickmines. The plans, submitted by Bowbeck DAC, show that the apartments will be spread over seven blocks with one building reaching 22-storeys in height, making it the joint-highest residential building in Dublin. The site has an area of 2.56 hectares and is bound to the north by the M50 motorway, by Golf Lane to the east and to the west by Glenamuck Road. An existing residential development is located to the south of the property. The proposal also includes the development of residential amenities, a childcare facility, gym and a local shop.

Read the full article @ The Southside People

Part of controversial plans for apartments at Bessborough refused planning permission

PART OF A controversial plan for apartments on land on the former estate of the Bessborough mother and baby home in Cork has been rejected by Cork City Council. Planners in the local authority have refused planning permission for an eight-storey block of 67 apartments on 3.7 acres of privately-owned land. MWB Two Ltd has applied to build 258 residential units – six houses and 252 apartments – on the site, as well as a creche. The developer has applied under the the fast-track strategic housing development (SHD) process for 179 of these units in three buildings ranging in height from five to seven stories. The SHD site overlaps an area of land identified on historic maps as a “children’s burial ground”.

Read the full article @

Number of dwelling units approved up 22.2% in year to Quarter 3 2020

The number of planning permissions granted for dwelling units in the third quarter of 2020 was 12,942, of which 7,214 were apartments and 5,728 were houses. The number of apartment units for which planning permission had been granted increased by 27.5% in the year since the third quarter of 2019. There was an annual increase of 16.1% in houses approved in the current quarter resulting in a total annual increase in dwellings of 22.2%. 

The third quarter figures also show how:

1. One-off houses accounted for 13.6% of all new dwelling units granted planning permission in this quarter. 

2. The total number of planning permissions granted for all developments was 8,530. This compares with 7,739 in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 10.2%. 

3, Total floor area planned was 2,486 thousand square metres in the third quarter of 2020. Of this, 58.9% was for new dwellings, 28.8% for other new constructions and 12.4% for extensions. The total floor area planned increased by 7.2% in comparison with the same quarter in 2019. 

In quarter 3 of 2019, for the first time, more apartments than houses were granted planning permission, a trend which has continued up to the current quarter. In the first three quarters of 2020, apartment planning permissions accounted for between 55% and 66% of those granted for total dwelling units. 

The total number of planning permission granted for all developments was 8,530. This compares with 7,739 in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 10.2%. Of these permissions, 55.6% were for new constructions, 27.8% for extensions and 16.6% for alterations and conversions. 

The total number of new apartments granted planning permission in the third quarter of 2020 was 7,214.

The region with the highest proportion of these permissions was Dublin (61.6%), followed by the Mid-East (25.1%). The Eastern and Midland Region (made up of Dublin, the Mid-East and the Midland regions) accounted for 88.1% of all apartment units granted. The Southern Region (made up of the Mid-West, South East and South West regions) accounted for 9.2% of permissions compared to just 2.7% for the Northern and Western Region (Border and West). 

Dwelling units granted by type of application - SHD and non-SHD applications

The Strategic Housing Development process is where applications for developments of at least 100 residential units or 200 plus student bed spaces can be made directly to An Bord Pleanála.

In the first three quarters of 2020, 20,656 apartment units were granted planning permission, of which 16,752 or 81.1% were Strategic Housing Development (SHD) applications and 3,904 or 18.9% were standard applications. In the same period, 10,104 multi-development housing units were granted planning permission, with 4,803 or 47.5% Strategic Housing Development (SHD) applications and 5,301 or 52.5% standard applications. 

Quintain receives planning approval for 136 homes at Cherrywood Village

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has granted planning permission for 136 homes to Quintain Developments Ireland Ltd at Laughanstown and Brennanstown in Cherrywood, Dublin 18.

When complete, Cherrywood Village will comprise over 1,300 homes, two public parks and over 50,000 sq. ft. of retail and civic amenities in the village centre. There will also be primary and post primary schools, cycle and walking tracks and extensive green open spaces throughout the area.

Cherrywood Village represents around half of Quintain’s 118-acre land holding in the area that was acquired last year from Hines and King Street Capital. When fully developed, Quintain will deliver over 3,000 new homes in an area with extensive transport links and high-quality local amenities.

The masterplan will build on extensive in-place infrastructure which includes a road network, the Green Luas line, and public parks. The fully completed Beckett Park has all weather sports pitches, floodlights and changing rooms. Under construction is also Tully Park, built around early Christian monuments and Tully Church dating from ninth century: it will have four zones, a Heritage Zone, a Biodiversity Zone, a Play Zone and a Passive Zone.

Cherrywood Village is located on a 65-acre site within the Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) and will comprise a mix of new houses, duplexes and apartments with two public parks, 27 acres of green space, and over 4,300m² of retail and civic amenities in the village centre.

The 136 homes receiving planning permission comprise: 80 two, three and four bedroomed houses, and 56 duplexes, with construction due to start as soon as the Covid-19 related lockdown on the sector is lifted.

Permission granted for 113 homes in Ballincollig

Planning permission has been granted for 113 new homes and apartments on the outskirts of Ballincollig in Cork. The Maglin strategic housing development (SHD) project — 59 houses and 54 apartments on undeveloped agricultural land on the western fringes of the town just 300m to the northeast of the historic Ballincollig Castle — had faced intense local opposition amid concerns over its location, off a quiet rural road, and its potential impact on the castle site. However, An Bórd Pleanála has approved the Stonecrest Construction Limited scheme, with 23 routine conditions. The developers lodged their planning application with the Bórd last September through the SHD fast-track application process for large housing developments.

Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Planning Permission Granted For New Hotel Near Dublin's Connolly Train Station

Dublin City Council has granted planning permission to property development firm Ballymore to construct three commercial blocks, which will include a hotel, next to Dublin's Connolly train station.

As reported by The Business Post, the blocks, which will also include shops and offices, will be part of a new development called Connolly Quarter.

When completed, Connolly Quarter will be an 80,000 square metre development that will also include restaurants, bars and homes.

Ballymore applied to Dublin City Council for planning permission for the development of Connolly Quarter last summer and subsequently provided additional information about the project in October. The development of Connolly Quarter is likely to create over 1,000 construction jobs over the next half decade, and it is predicted that the completed Connolly Quarter will become home to over 5,000 people.

The commercial part of Connolly Quarter for which Ballymore has just been granted planning permission will extend to 42,760 metres. Its hotel will have 246 bedrooms.

The Business Post quotes Ballymore chief executive Sean Mulryan as saying, "I'm delighted to receive planning permission for our commercial proposals at the Connolly Quarter development in the heart of Dublin city.

"Throughout this process, we are committed to working with the local community to ensure we provide a state-of-the-art development which complements the existing environment for current and future generations to enjoy."

Cost of €250m for revised Dublin city housing plan

Dublin City Council would have to borrow about €250 million to fund new plans for housing development at Oscar Traynor Road, councillors have been told. The new scheme, devised by a cross-party group of city councillors for the lands in Santry, would result in at least a five-year delay in development, said the council’s director of housing delivery Dave Dinnigan. Plans for 853 homes at the 17-acre site, one of the largest owned by the council, collapsed last November following the refusal of councillors to approve a deal with developer Glenveagh Homes.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Proper planning has been abandoned

 Sir, – If any of your readers have not read Frank McDonald’s article “Proper planning and sustainable development have effectively been abandoned” (Opinion & Analysis,, (January 30th), they really should. Well done to him and to the “coalition of residents’ associations in the Dublin area” who are shouting stop to the “developer-led design, ministerial directives and planning decisions solely made by An Bord Pleanála”, which they say are “anti-social and have a fundamental democratic deficit. This system does not hear our voices as communities.”

Read the full letter @ The Irish Times