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

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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.

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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