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  • Kildare county Council’s decision to grant permission for a large scale extension of the successful Kildare Outlet Village has been appealed to An Bord Pleanala by a number of other retail interests in the locality including the Whitewater Shopping Centre and Tescos.  An Taisce have also appealed the decision.

    Published on November 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Retail Planning; Tagged as: , , ,
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  • An Bord Pleanala last week rejected two cinema proposals for Navan, Co. Meath.

    An application for a nine screen cinema off the inner relief road in Navan was refused because of the prominent gateway status of the site in a heritage town and the zoning objective to provide for visitor and tourist facilities with a high-intensity, integrated use. The Board noted that the planning history of this site includes a “coherent mixed use development” incorporating a hotel and comprehensive car parking provision.

    An application for amendments to a permitted cinema as part of a large mixed use development at Navan Retail Park, Athboy Road was also refused permission by An Bord Pleanala.  The Board considered that given the location of the site on the outskirts of the town, in a location that is poorly accessible from the town centre, the development would fail to consolidate the town centre, would fail to deliver any synergies with town centre activities and would have a negative impact on the town centre’s vitality and viability.

    Published on November 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , ,
    2 Comments
  • An Bord Pleanala have overturned the decision of Dublin City Council to grant permission for amendments to an existing planning permission for a 7 storey office building on the south side of St. Stephen’s Green (‘Canada House’).  The amendments would have increased the floor area by just over 1,000sq.m. 

    An Taisce appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanala.  The An Bord Pleanala Inspector recommended a refusal for two reasons relating to visual impact.

    The Board considered that the proposed amendments “would introduce an obtrusive and visually dominant structure into this historic streetscape” and “the increased prominence and overelaborate design at fifth and sixth floor levels would be inappropriate”. Permission was therefore refused because the proposed development would seriously injure the visual amenities of the area.

    Published on November 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , ,
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  • The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government published new guidelines on planning enforcement on 19th November 2012.

    The guidelines set out:

    •  some examples of the types of activity/development that might constitute breaches of the planning code;
    • the respective roles and responsibilities of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the planning authorities;
    • the procedures that planning authorities may adopt when taking enforcement action, including the remedies and sanctions available;
    • the process by which an individual can make a complaint about an alleged breach of the planning code;
    • the process by which someone can appeal against an adverse finding by a planning authority; and,
    • a short summary of the relevant legislative provisions.

     Interestingly the guidelines Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on November 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines; Tagged as: ,
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  • New planning regulations were signed into law at the end of November which reflect the European Court of Justice ruling (Case C–50/09) that Irish did not adequately transpose Article 3 of the Directive which makes the competent authority responsible for carrying out an environmental impact assessment. 

    The net effect is that there is now greater onus on the planning authority to be responsible for the quality of an EIA.  The regulations give the planning authority the tools to seek higher quality requirements from applicants.  Whilst this has occurred in practice the law now firmly confirms that it is the planning authority who is responsible for EIA, not the applicant/developer.

    Published on November 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Legislation; Tagged as: , ,
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  • A planning application has been lodged with South Dublin County Council for a large-scale extension to the Liffey Valley shopping centre. The application comprises approx. 10,500sq m of space at the western end of the shopping complex and will cater for news shops, restaurants and an extension to the cinema complex.  The proposal also includes a central focal point forming an indoor meeting place.

    Published on November 20, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Retail Planning, Significant Planning Applications; Tagged as: ,
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  • Wexford County Council put a question to An Bord Pleanala as to whether the use of agricultural land at Duncormick in Wexford as a clay pigeon shoot for limited periods in any year is or is not development or is or is not exempted development:

     An Bord Pleanála concluded that –

    •  the use of the lands is for agricultural purposes,
    • the use of the land for clay pigeon shooting is a sporting/recreational use, which is  undertaken by visitors to the farmer’s land,
    • a change of use of the land occurs when clay pigeon shooting takes place,
    • this change of use is material and gives rise to impacts in relation to noise, traffic and environmental impacts,
    • the change of use occurs on a regular basis, and
    • the nature of the change of use is considered an activity and not an event, so therefore does not benefit from any exemption under the Planning Regulations.

     An Bord Pleanála, therefore concluded  that the said use of agricultural land at Duncormick, County Wexford for use as a clay pigeon shoot for limited periods in any year is development and is not exempted development.

    Published on November 19, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Rural Planning; Tagged as: ,
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  • An Bord Pleanala have granted SIAC a 10 year permission for a large-scale residential and commercial development at their headquarters in Clondalkin, despite the recommendation of their own inspector to refuse permission.

    South Dublin County Council had granted permission for the scheme despite widespread objections from over 50 different groups and individuals. A total of 5 appeals were lodged with An Bord Pleanla, including one from the applicants themselves.

    The scheme was later revised at appeal stage to include circa 11,268 square metres of office space, five number retail units, a crèche, a café/restaurant and 346 residential units.  The development is to be accommodated in 15 number blocks ranging in height from three to six storeys on a 6.8 hectare site.

    An Bord Pleanla’s Inspector was clearly against the proposed development and recommended a refusal of permission based on a total of 7 reasons. 

    An Bord Pleanala, however, granted permission subject to 42 conditions.  In deciding not to accept the Inspector’s recommendation to refuse permission, the Board considered that the development would not adversely impact on the viability of Clondalkin town centre or the ‘Red Cow’ junction, has reasonably good connectivity to public transport and the large office content would not impact on existing or future residents.

    Details of decision:  http://www.pleanala.ie/casenum/237700.htm

    Published on November 16, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , ,
    1 Comment
  • An Bord Pleanala have refused permission for SIPTUs proposed redevelopment of Liberty Hall overturing Dublin City Councils decision to grant permission.

    There was one reason for refusal

    It is considered that the site of Liberty Hall is of national historic and social significance and is located at a prominent and sensitive location fronting onto the River Liffey, within the historic city core of Dublin and adjacent to the Custom House, a protected structure of primary importance in the state. Having regard to policy SC18 of the planning authority, as set out in the Dublin City Development Plan 2011 – 2017, which seeks to protect and enhance the skyline of the inner city, inter alia, and notwithstanding the quality of the architectural design, it is considered that the scale and, in particular, the height of the development as proposed, would be unacceptably dominant in the city, would be visually intrusive in the streetscape and riverscape and would seriously injure the visual amenities of the city and its skyline. Furthermore, the proposed development would seriously detract from the setting and character of the Custom House, would intrude on the O’Connell Street and Grafton Street Architectural Conservation Areas, and other important vistas in the city. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

    An Oral hearing had been held in realtion to the appeal and the Inspector had recommended a refusal for a similar reason to that of the Board.

    Published on November 16, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Uncategorized; Tagged as: , ,
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  • The Minister of the Environment, Community and Local Government has issued an update in relation to certain sections of the Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures Guidelines (1996) which planning authorities use to draft planning policies and assess planning applications.  The purpose of the updates is to support the planning system in facilitating the objectives set out under the National Broadband Plan. There are a number of significant changes included in these updates:

    Planning authorities should not include separation distances (i.e. from houses, protected structures, schools etc) in development plans as they prevent case-by-case analysis and can inadvertently have a major impact on the roll out of a viable and effective telecommunications network.  This will have implications for a number of planning authorities around the country who include specific distances, often up to 1 kilometre, from schools, houses etc.  It will also have implications for local communities who wish to object to proposed masts as they often could rely on policies which required such separation distances to be met in order to get the application refused.

    Planning authorities are advised that conditions limiting the life of telecommunication masts and antennae to a set temporary period should cease, except in exceptional circumstances.  The temporary nature of permissions meant that resident groups had the comfort that they could challenge any new application when the temporary period was finished.  This option will be removed as the structures will be permitted on a permanent basis. Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on November 13, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines; Tagged as: , , ,
    2 Comments
  • A recent judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Hogan in the High Court (4th October 2012) has raised a very interesting issue in terms of the weight that should be placed on Article 40.5 of the Irish Constitution in terms of deciding on an application by a local authority to seeking an order to demolish a dwelling built without the benefit of planning permission.  Article 40.5 states that:

     “The dwelling of every citizen is inviolable and shall not be forcibly entered save in accordance with law”.

    In the case of Wicklow County Council -v- Fortune Justice Hogan was dealing with a situation where the defendant, Ms. Fortune, had constructed a small timber framed chalet approximately 70 sq. m. in size in a wooded area of high natural beauty in Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow. The Council had postponed enforcement proceedings pending a retention application by Mr. Fortune however when An Bord Pleanala ultimately refused permission for the house the Council made an application to the Circuit Court for an injunction to remove the dwelling.  The Circuit Court found in favour of the Council and ordered that the site should be demolished. The case came before Justice Hogan on appeal to the High Court.

    Justice Hogan noted in his judgement that this appeal from a decision of the Circuit Court raises “difficult and, in some respects, novel issues concerning the application of the Planning and Development Act 2000”.  One of the key issues related to the nature of the “inviolability” of the dwelling as provided for in Article 40.5 of the Constitution and to what extent, if at all, can this constitutional provision be invoked by the home owner by way of defence to an application for an injunction which would seek to compel him or her to remove an unauthorized dwelling.

    As noted by Justice Hogan Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on November 7, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Court Cases, Planning Legislation, Residentail, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , , , , ,
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  • The decision by Waterford County Council to grant permission for a large-scale leisure centre at the Hydro site in Tramore, County Waterford has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

    The proposals includes retail units, skate park, flowrider, recording studio, changing rooms, toilets, workshop, offices and bar/restaurant facility.  The main features of the development are the indoor wave for surfing and Irelands largest skate/bmx facility.

    Published on November 7, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Significant Planning Applications; Tagged as: , , ,
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  • 8th Nov:        Proposed Material Alterations to the Draft Meath County Development Plan 2013 – 2019.

    12th Nov:       Proposed Material Alterations to the Caherconlish Draft Local Area Plan for the period   2012-2018 (Limerick Co. Co.)

     16th Nov:       Draft Maigh Cuilinn (Moycullen) Local Area Plan

     22nd Nov:      Proposed Material Alterations to the Proposed Amendment to the Bearna Local Area Plan 2007-2013 (Galway Co. Co.)

     26th Nov:       Variation of Dublin City Development Plan (former Z15 zoning)

    Published on November 7, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Development Plan Notices; Tagged as: ,
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  • Dr. Aine Ryall has organised a conference entitled ‘Enforcing European Union Environmental Law’ on  Friday, 23 November 2012 at 2 – 6pm.  The conference will be held at UCC Brookfield Health Science Complex Lecture Theatre G01 and deals with the ongoing tensions between international, European Union (EU) and national environmental law.

    The conference is free of charge.  Full details are availabe on the UCC Law website: 

     Conference details

    Published on November 6, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Conferences; Tagged as: ,
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  • An application by EirGrid to construct a 40 kilometres power line (110 kilovolts) between Clashavoon and Dunmanway in West Cork has been approved by An Bord Pleanala despite significant local opposition and the advice of their own inspector to provide one third of the line underground.

    The powerline included 227 number structures, comprising 198 number double woodpole structures, nine number braced woodpole structures, and 20 number steel tower structures.

    An oral hearing into the application was held in November 2011 in the Macroom Castle Hotel.

    According to the An Board Pleanala Inspector the proposed power line runs across the rural landscape of west Cork “in a transitional area between the lush rolling pastures of central Cork and the more exposed uplands characterising the area west of Macroom”.

    The An Bord Pleanala Inspector agreed that the argument raised by some objectors in relation to excessive power provision relative to demand had substance.  However Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on November 1, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , , , ,
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