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  • The issue of the ‘integrity’ of a habitat has been addressed by the Court of Justice following a referral from the Irish Supreme Court.

    An Bord Pleanala had determined that the loss of 1.5h of Annex 1 priority habitat as part of the development of the Galway outer by-pass was a localised impact on the Lough Corrib cSAC and would not adversely affect the integrity of the cSAC.   This decision appears to have been based on the fact that the 1.5h represented only approx. 2% of the overall cSAC and the loss, although permanent, would not affect the balance of the site and therefore its integrity as a whole. 

    The Court of Justice placed strong emphasis on the fact that the habitat concerned was a priority habitat (limestone pavement) and cannot be replaced. It effectively ruled that the permanent impact on the very habitat upon which the site has been designated did affect the integrity of the site.  A ruling is now awaited from the Supreme Court.

    Published on April 18, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Court Cases;
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  • Bord Na Mona has received a 10 year planning permission from An Bord Pleanála under the Strategic Infrastructure Planning Act to construct a mechanical biological treatment facility on the site of the Drehid Waste Management Facility in Carbury, Co. Kildare.

    The facility will have the capacity of 250,000 tonnes per annum of waste on a 29 hectare site.  The waste will principally be municipal solid waste and forms an alternative to landfill.  At present the landfill at the existing Drehid Waste Management Facility is permitted to dispose of a total of 360,000 tonnes per annum, reverting to 120,000 tonnes per annum in December 2013.

    The conditions of the permission included the applicant providing “a sum of money” towards the cost of the provision of environmental improvement and recreational or community amenities in the locality. The identification of such projects shall be decided by the planning authority in consultation with the local community.  The “sum of money” is left to be decided between the Council and the applicant.

    Published on April 18, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Waste;
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  • South Tipperary County Development Plan 2014 – 2020:  predraft submissions due 29th Apr 2013

    Draft Mayo County Development Plan 2014 – 2020: submissions due 24th May 2013

    Leitrim County Development Plan 2015 – 2021: predraft submissions due 3rd May 2013

    Published on April 5, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Development Plan Notices;
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  • A new manual has been jointly produced by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.  The Manual was been prepared by a Project Team with a range of relevant skills drawn from a number of local authorities (South Dublin, Fingal, Kildare, Cork City) and hosted by South Dublin County Council. Among other things it involved a focused stakeholder consultation exercise.

    The aim of the manual is to move away from the practice of designing streets as traffic corridors, and instead focus on the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users. The manual is very similar to the UK’s Manual for Streets which came out in 2007.  Although it has taken another 6 years for a manual of this nature to emerge in Ireland it is worth the wait and it will finally provide a basis for moving away from a public realm dominated by the car and toward a public realm where more sustainable forms of transport have priority. 

    This urban design led approach is much needed in the Irish context, although it remains to be seen how local authority engineers will be able to square this approach with the safety requirements outlined in other guidance documents which they rely on when assessing proposals.  Too often high quality urban design based schemes have been refused or significantly altered in order to accommodated engineering based requirements.  The Manual does not seek to replace the private car but recognizes that we need to achieve a better balance in how our urban roads and streets are designed and used.

    Published on April 5, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines; Tagged as: ,
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