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  • An Bord Pleanala recently granted permission for a biomass combined heat and power plant and associated ash landfill in Co. Meath under the supposedly fast-track planning procedure for strategic infrastructure.  The application was lodged in May 2009 yet was only decided at the end of February 2013 – 3 years and 9 months later.  Whilst the nature of the application was quite complex from a planning perspective the question has to be asked if the strategic infrastructure procedure is doing its job given the lengthy timeline involved.  A nearly 4 year wait for a planning decision appears to completely undermine the very reason for introducing the procedure. There would also have been considerable time spent in the pre-planning phase before the application was even lodged, with the intention of trying to minimise the issues that will arise when the application is finally lodged for assessment.  Given the prevailing economic situation a system that delays any large-scale infrastructure developments by such a period must be examined in terms of its usefulness going forward.


    Published on March 15, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Waste; Tagged as: ,
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  • The Independent Report on the recommendations in last years Planning Review was published on 8th March 2013.

    The Planning Review, published in June 2012, contained 12 recommendations relating to planning policy and practice which flowed from the analysis of how a range of cases were dealt with by a number of planning authorities. 

    The Independent Report reviewed the recommendations contained in the Planning Review and assessed their appropriateness. 

    The report supports the appropriateness and effectiveness of nine of the 12 recommendations in the Planning Review as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on March 13, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Reports; Tagged as:
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  • The 2013 Irish Planning Conference venue is Belfast City Hall.  The conference is titled ‘Achieving Competitiveness & Promoting Innovation – The Future Role of Planning’. The conference aims to facilitate discussion around the changing role of planning particularly having regard to Local Government Reform in the south and Planning Reform in the north. It runs from 25th – 26th April 2013

    Published on March 11, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Conferences;
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  • The Irish Farmers Journal carried an article from about ‘Land Reclamation and Planning’ on page 8 of its Land Improvement supplement this week.  This is an area of planning that is not particulalry well known about but can have significant implications for farmers if not addressed properly.

    See copy of article here Land Reclamation and Planning

    Published on March 11, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Rural Planning; Tagged as:
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  •  A question came before An Bord Pleanala as to whether a proposed coffee sales area (16.8 square metres) within the existing retail unit at Keane’s Garden Centre, Kilcolgan Village, County Galway is or is not development or is or is not exempted development.

    The floor area of the coffee sales area would form 21.5% of the retail unit. No seating is proposed.

    Galway County Council ruled that the provision of a coffee sales area within the garden centre does not constitute ancillary development and was not exempted development.

    The owner referred the matter to An Bord Pleanala arguing, inter alia, that the retail unit had the benefit of planning permission, there were no external changes, the sale of coffee would be subsidiary to the main retail use, there would be no seating and the Board had previously ruled that other small scale changes of use within retail units did not constitute development.

    The Board’s Inspector ruled that Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on March 5, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Exempted Development, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Retail Planning; Tagged as: , ,
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