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  • A large scale truck stop including a motel for truck drivers, 12 pump filling station, drive thru restaurant, driver resting area, picnic area etc at Carrickcarnon, Co, Louth has been refused permission by An Bord Pleanala.  Louth County Council had granted permission however the decision was appealed to the Board by third parties.  The truck stop was an off-line scheme but was quite close to the M1 motorway. 

    The Board refused permission inter alia on the basis of the scale of the development, the existing on-line M1 service stations, the rural location outside a settlement and the close proximity to an interchange.  The application was a revised version of an even larger scheme which had been refused by the Council.

    It is of note that the NRA had not objected to the scheme.

    Published on November 30, 2011 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , , , ,
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  • Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2011

    These Regulations came into effect on 21st September, 2011 and relate to substitute consent*, sub-threshold planning applications (EIS) and Natura Impact Statements.

    The Regulations also brought in new requirement for Site Notices with the following wording to be included:

    “… and such submissions or observations will be considered by the planning authority in making a decision on the application. The planning authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.”

     There are also minor changes to the Planning Application Form

     * Substitute Consent is a mechanism whereby a person can apply for retrospective permission for a project that would have required an Environmental Impact Assessment, Screening for Environmental Impact Assessment or Appropriate Assessment, as appropriate.

    Published on November 25, 2011 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Legislation, Uncategorized; Tagged as: , ,
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  • Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2011

    These Regulations came into effect on 8th September, 2011 and deal mainly with the ECJ judgement which necessitated a reduction in the thresholds for mandatory EISs and for EIS screening for certain categories of agriculture-related projects. Specifically the Regulations:

    • Reduce the exempted development threshold for the drainage of wetlands from 20ha to 0.1ha;
    • Reduce the threshold for mandatory EIA of drainage and/or reclamation of wetlands from 20ha to 2ha; and
    • Exempt other land reclamation activities from the planning permission.

    The Regulations also introduced other amendments to the exempted development provisions as follows:

    •        To limit the provision of a hard surface in front/side garden to less than 25m2 or less than 50% of the front garden/side garden, whichever is the smaller. If larger than these thresholds, then it shall be constructed using permeable materials to allow rainwater to soak to the ground;
    •        To allow a single portable (e.g. “pay to use”) waste disposal compactor, where it is located within the curtilage of a business premises, shall not exceed 10m3, or within 50m of the curtilage of any house except where consent from the owner is given in writing; Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on November 25, 2011 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Legislation, Rural Planning; Tagged as:
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  • Permission has been granted by An Bord Pleanala for a large-scale, town centre, mixed use development in Carlow. 

    The development involves the demolition of the existing Penney’s Store and Hanover Shopping Centre and adjoining buildings. It is proposed to construct a retail development with a gross floor area of 26,071 sqm comprising of 36 units, a cafe and food court, an occasional farmers market, offices and 30 residential units. The development will be contained in a two, three, five and seven storey structure over a single level underground car park.  The proposed development represents a 26% reduction and revision of a previously approved mixed use development on the same site

    Carlow Town Council granted permission for the development however it was appealed by a neighbouring resident.  An Bord Pleanala upheld the Council’s decision on the basis of the town centre zoning of the site, the policies in the development plan, the pattern of development in the area and the planning history.  However, they conditioned the omission of 6 retail units primarily from the upper levels of the development.

    Published on November 25, 2011 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , , , ,
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  • Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 (Commencement) (No. 2) Order 2011

    The Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 (Commencement) (No. 2) Order 2011 came into effect on 21st September, 2011. This order commenced a number of sections of the 2010 Act including, inter alia:

    The requirement to carry out an Appropriate Assessment* in preparing a Local  Area Plan

    The provision that there shall be no presumption in law that any land zoned in a particular local area plan shall remain so zoned in any subsequent local area plan.Section 12(d):

    In the event of a re-advertisement of Further Information, the relevant period is 4 weeks from the receipt of the notice by the Planning Authority (or 8 weeks in the case of an EIS of a NIS**):

    *Appropriate Assessment refers to the assessment of the impact of a proposed development on Natura 2000 sites (SACs and SPAs)

    **Natura Impact Study – study carried out where appropriate assessment screening establishes that a proposed development is likely to have a potential impact on a Natura 2000 site.

    Published on November 21, 2011 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Legislation; Tagged as: , ,
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  • Whether the renovation of site, disposal of petrol tanks, signage, installation of new petrol tanks, renovation and alterations to shop is or is not development or is or is not exempted development

    Athy Town Council referred the above question to An Bord Pleanala concerning the following works:

    1. the removal of underground fuel storage tanks (20,000 litres) and the installation of two underground fuel storage tanks (30,000 litres);

    2. the construction of a new drainage layout and services duct layout;

    3. the erection of four number “Amber” signs and droplet logo signs on the stanchions of the canopy structure;

    4. the erection of new side cladding and three number “Amber” signs and droplet logos on the canopy structure; and

    5. the erection of new cladding and the new logo “Diesel”, “Petrol”, “Costcutter” “Hotfood/Deli” and “Fresh Coffee” on the roadside double pole ID sign;

    The Board went against the recommendation of their Inspector and deemed that the said works were exempt from planning permission.

    Link to this case on the An Bord Pleanala website

    Published on November 21, 2011 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Exempted Development, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Uncategorized; Tagged as: , ,
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  • The Minister signed the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 (Commencement) (No.3) (Order 2011) on the 16th November 2011. This Order commences sections 74 and 75 of the Planning and Development Act (Amendment) Act 2010 which amends section 261, and insert a new section 261A, into the Planning and Development Act 2000. 

    This new legislation arises from the Derrybrien windfarm case where in 2008, the European Court of Justice ruled that Ireland was in breach of EU law in permitting retention permission for projects accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment. Following the ruling, the Minister issued a Circular which advised that retention permission for developments requiring EIA should not be granted after 3rd July 2008. 

    The “Substitute Consent” procedure in the 2010 Act seeks to provide a mechanism whereby the position in respect of EIA development can be regularized – however leave to apply for consent from An Bord Pleanala is only allowed in exceptional circumstances (i.e. a planning permission found defective by a court).

    In the specific case of quarries there will be a sunset period whereby quarry owners will be given a last opportunity to regularize any unauthorized works without having to meet the exceptional circumstances test.  The Act also seeks to require that such works are regularized under s.74 and s.75 of the Act. Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on November 21, 2011 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Legislation, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , , ,
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  • The guidelines (when finalised) will replace those guidelines issued in 2005. 

    The key changes in the new guidelines include:

    (1)      revisions to the convenience retail floorspace cap moving to a three tier approach that provides for a differentiation in cap limits between Dublin (4,000 m2), the other four main cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford (3,500 m2), and the remainder of the country (3,000 m2).

    (2)      the retail warehouse floorspace cap is to be maintained at 6,000 m2 and with specific criteria to allow for an exemption from this floorspace cap in city and town centre areas in the National Spatial Strategy gateway cities/towns; and

    (3)      the petrol filling station shops floorspace cap is to be maintained at 100 m2 irrespective of location.

    Emphasis on a plan-led approach involving greater co-operation by planning authorities in the preparation of joint or multi-planning authority retail strategies.  The draft Guidelines require the preparation of such strategies, by relevant planning authorities including the 5 gateway cities (Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick/Shannon).

    The closing date for receipt of submissions is 4 pm on Tuesday, 20 December, 2011.

    The finalised statutory Guidelines will be accompanied by a non-statutory Best Practice Manual which is intended to assist both planning authorities and prospective applicants in relation to design issues and the assessment of the vitality and viability of city and town centres.

    Published on November 21, 2011 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines, Retail Planning;
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