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  • A question came before An Bord Pleanala as to whether the parking of a mobile sign in the Little Island Business Park, Little Island, Cork for the purpose of advertising ‘Carpets Direct’ is or is not exempted development.

    Despite the plethora of such signs around the country, many which do not have the benefit of planning permission, the Board’s Inspector noted that this appeared to be the first occasion on which this particular type of signage has been the subject of a referral to An Bord Pleanala in order to determine if it is exempt from planning permission.

    An Bord Pleanála concluded that the parking of the mobile sign at this location for the purpose of advertising constitutes a material change of use of the land on which it is located, being the use of land for the exhibition of advertisements.

    They also concluded that the parking of the mobile sign would not come within the meaning of development consisting of the carrying out of works for the maintenance, improvement or other alteration of a structure nor does it come within the scope of any of the exemptions provided for in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended.

    In terms of the specific sign which formed the basis of this assessment it was further found that any potential exemption that might apply in this instance is nullified by the fact that it would contravene the terms of a planning permission and any potential exemptions that might arise are also nullified as the parking of this sign at the location proposed would endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard.

    Therefore An Bord Pleanála decided that the said parking of a mobile sign in the Little Island Business Park, Little Island, Cork for the purpose of advertising ‘Carpets Direct’ is development and is not exempted development.   Whilst each case is based on its own merits it seems clear that planning permission is required for such mobile signage as it involves a material change of use of the land.

    Published on November 29, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Exempted Development, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , ,
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  • The deadline to respond to Eirgrid’s invite for submissions to the Stage 1 Report on the Grid Link Project (Leinster – Munster) has been extended until Tuesday, 7th January 2014 at 5pm.

    Published on November 26, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: , ,
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  • Pat Swords is a name that could become a name synonymous with wind farm development in this country in the coming weeks.  Mr. Swords, a chemical engineer and lay litigant has taken a High Court case against the Department of Energy, Communications and Natural Resources which could potentially have significant implications for wind farm development in the country.

    Mr. Swords is seeking to have the National Renewable Energy Action Plan annulled.  He argues that the State has shown bias in favour of wind energy over other forms of renewable technology and, furthermore, that the State has breached European law by adopting plans without considering the views of the public.

    Essentially Mr. Swords is relying on the terms of the Aarhus Convention which enshrines public participation in decision making when all options are open rather than presenting a fait accompli to the public where they have no real input. His argument is that proper consultation of the NEAP was not carried out.

    Wind TurbineMr. Swords has some standing as he already obtained a ruling from the UN’s Aarhus Compliance Committee that Ireland had failed to give its residents a proper say in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP). They determined that there was insufficient information to inform a reasoned decision and insufficient time given to deliberate and protest if necessary.  He has brought this ruling to the High Court.

    The State disputed Mr Swords claims arguing that the Aarhus Convention doesn’t apply as it had not been ratified at the time the NREAP was accepted by the European Commission in 2010. This was rejected by the Court on the basis that while Ireland did not ratify the Aarhus Convention until 2012, the European Union had ratified it in 2005. The Convention has now been ratified by Ireland.

    If Mr. Swords is successful it could mean that the preparation of the NREAP will have to undertaken again, thus resulting in huge delays for those committed to large-scale windfarm development in the country, of which there are many.

    Published on November 19, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy;
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  • Now that the Dublin Docklands Development Authority has been disbanded the batton falls to Dublin City Council to plan for the future of the 66 hectare, which includes the Grand Canal Dock area on the south side of the river and North Lotts on the north side.

    The City Council have opted for a Strategic Development Zone or SDZ as it is known in planning circles. An SDZ is a planning process which seeks to get overall approval for a plan first and then grant permission for subsequent applications which are deemed consistent with the Plan.  This is not all that different from the previous system which operated under the DDDA régime. The key feature of the SDZ process is that it is meant to be a fast-track development process and therefore there is no opportunity for appealing individual applications to An Bord Pleanala.

    However, the entire SDZ itself can be appealed to An Bord Pleanala over the next 4 week period and this is highly likely based on other SDZs that have been prepared in Dublin City and other councils.  Most of these schemes have been approved by the Board but they recently refused one scheme in Cork (Monard) outright; the first time that this has happened.  Therefore nothing is set in stone as of yet.

    The main feature of the Docklands SDZ is that it departs from the height restriction imposed on the rest of the city.  It will allow for buildings up to 22 storeys in particular areas such as Point Square and Britain Quay.

     

    Published on November 11, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Comments on Planning; Tagged as: ,
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  • An Bord Pleanla have ruled that a windfarm development for 32 turbines on boglands in Rhode, Co. Offaly constitutes Strategic Infrastructure Development.  This means that any planning application will be made directly to the Board rather than the Council.  This application would be in addition to the two well publicised windfarm developments in the Midlands (for energy export) and the recent Bord na Mona windfarm, all of which will involve applications directly to the Board.

    Published on November 8, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy;
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  • A question came before An Bord Pleanala from Kildare County Council as to whether the change of use from a shop to a shop with the taking in of precious metals/jewellery in exchange for cash for pre-sales purposes, including the option of a pawning financial service for such items at “Cash Encounters” in Edward Street, Newbridge, County Kildare is or is not development or is or is not exempted development.

    An Bord Pleanála has concluded that the said change of use from a shop to a shop with the taking in of precious metals/jewellery in exchange for cash for re-sale purposes, including the option of a pawning financial service for such items does not, within the specific circumstances pertaining in the referral shop unit, constitute development under section 3(1) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, as amended, as it is considered that while the option of a pawning service does constitute a change of use, it is ancillary and minor in nature to the principal use as a shop and is not, therefore, development.

    Published on November 8, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Exempted Development;
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