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  • Agricultural Culvert Bridge Found to Require Planning Permission

    Following a complaint regarding flooding, Monaghan County Council referred a question to An Bord Pleanala as to whether the construction of a bridge / culvert (on agricultural lands) is or is not exempted development.

    According to the An Bord Pleanla Inspector the original access in this location was a relatively simple agricultural style access with a concrete slab bridging the stream supported by concrete reinforcements on both sides of the stream. The original bridge structure did not have any concrete bottom to the stream bed. A new bridge incorporating a concrete culvert of the stream was constructed including metal side railings.

    The Planning Authority and the landowner were both of the opinion that the development undertaken on the site comes within the scope of Class 3 of Part 3 of the Second Schedule of the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 (as amended). Class 3 states that the following shall be exempted development for the purposes of the act:

    ‘Works relating to the construction or maintenance of any gully, drain, pond, trough, pit or culvert, the widening or deepening of watercourses, the removal of obstructions from watercourses and the making or repairing of embankments in connection with any of the foregoing works’.

    The An Bord Pleanla Inspector considered that what has been constructed on the site does come within the scope of what could be considered to constitute a culvert even though he acknowledged it was also a bridge.

    “Although I would accept that there is also a bridge aspect to the works undertaken, it would be my interpretation that the box culvert structure is the primary feature of the works undertaken and that this facilitates the access route above”

    The Inspector recommended that the culvert/bridge be deemed exempted development under the Planning Regulations.

    Despite the Planning Authority, the landowner’s professional planning consultant and the Board’s Senior Inspector being of the view that the works were exempted development An Bord Pleanála disagreed.  An Bord Pleanala concluded that the replacement structure in question comprises a bridge and does not come within the scope of development included in Class 3 of Part 3 of the Planning Regulations.  Therefore they ruled that the structure is not exempted development.  The Board noted that that the replacement structure in question was a bridge in both form and function, notwithstanding that a pre-cast concrete element has been used to form the new bridge, and that such an element is also used to create culverts in other situations.

    Published on February 15, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Exempted Development, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , ,
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