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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.

    Source:  http://pleanala.ie/casenum/PA0013.htm

    Published on March 15, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Waste; 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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  • An Bord Pleanala has upheld the decision of Cork County Council to grant permission for 14 wind turbines and associated development in the Ballyhoura Mountain Range (at the western foothills of the Galtee Mountains straddling the border of Co Cork and Co Limerick). Each wind turbine will have an overall maximum dimension of 126 metres, comprising a tower 80 -86 metres high with a diameter of about 4 metres at the base, to which three blades of 41 – 45 metres length will be attached.

    Cork County Council granted permission but only for 20 years from the grant of permission. The Council also attached conditions requiring connection to the National Electricity Grid to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority; the proposal to use the existing infrastructure which is in place on the site; commissioning of the wind farm to be subject to an approved connection to the national electricity transmission grid and shall be subject to the prior grant of permission of the planning authority. There were two third party appeals and one first party appeal. Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on February 28, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning;
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  • 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: Read the rest of this entry »

    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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  • An Bord Pleanala have overturned the decision by Galway County Council to grant permission for a large-scale shopping complex outside Tuam, Co. Galway. 

    The applicant initially sought permission for a mixed use development (9,040 square metres gross) comprising anchor retail unit (4,300 square metres gross); 3 no. retail warehouse type units including DIY centre; drive-thru restaurant and ancillary development.  The scale was later reduced during the planning process.

    The Board agreed with their senior inspector’s recommendation that Having regard to the scale and location of the proposed development outside the town centre area, and to the strategy indicated in the current Tuam Local Area Plan to concentrate and consolidate commercial activity in the town centre, the proposed development, would seriously injure the vitality and viability of the town centre of Tuam. 

    The Board did not support the view that the proposed development would undermine the LAP indicative objective of providing a neighbourhood centre of appropriate scale west of the N17 National primary Road, and adversely affect the strategic function of the said road.

    Published on February 15, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , , ,
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  • An Bord Pleanála has upheld Kildare County Councils decision to grant permission for a new chip plant that will produce the next generation of 14 nanometer (nm) microprocessors at it’s Leixlip campus in Co Kildare. It is estimated that 3,500 construction jobs will be created and about 800 permanent jobs.  The plan also includes a multi-storey carpark extending over five levels, a new chemical storage building, as well as ancillary works and a new retention pond to catch additional surface water runoff.

    Published on January 31, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: ,
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  • A decision by Kildare County Council to grant planning permission for a dry-waste recovery/recycling management facility in Kilcullen Business Campus, Kilcullen, County Kildare has been overturned by An Bord Pleanala who refused permission.

    The applicant has sought permission for a dry-waste recovery/recycling management facility for inorganic waste material, including an End of Life Vehicle recovery facility, vehicle compactor, non ferrous metals store and associated works.  There was significant local opposition from residents in Kilcullen and they appealed Kildare County Council’s decision to An Bord Pleanala. 

    The Board’s inspector recommended that permission be refused and the Board agreed with this recommendation.  They refused permission for a total of 4 reasons.  The first reason related to the fact that the proposed development was not considered to be a light industrial use and would conflict with the planning authority’s objective for land use zoning (‘light industry and warehousing’). The second reason related to the impact of the proposed development on the amenities of residential property in the vicinity by reason of noise and general disturbance.  The third and fourth reasons related to insufficient information being provided in relation to traffic and groundwater pollution.

    Published on January 16, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Waste; 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • An Bord Pleanala have upheld the decision of Meath County Council to grant permission for a facility to manufacture biofuels (wood and energy crops) and a combined heat and power plant at Balrath Demense in County Meath, approximately 3 kilometres south west of Kells.source: www.publicdomainpictures.net

    A similar application was only recently refused by the Board.  However, the Board’s direction stated that whilst permission was being refused because of the inadequacies of the county road serving the existing facility, the proposed facility might justify an exemption to the usual restrictions on providing new entrances onto national roads in light of national policy on the development of alternative energy resources. Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on October 17, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , ,
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  • An Bord Pleanala have upheld the decision of Monaghan County Council to grant permission for a 24 hour lorry park at Clontibret, County Monaghan despite their inspector recommending a refusal.

    The proposed development included a filling station for cars and trucks, a two storey commercial building containing shop café restaurant/takeaway, offices and lounge/relax area for truck drivers. The scheme also proposed to treat effluent via an Integrated Constructed Wetland in order to address a previous refusal for a lorry park by An Bord Pleanala relating to the assimilative capacity of the adjoining stream to accept treated effluent from the proposed development.

    The Board’s Inspector was not convinced that wastewater generated by the proposed development can be satisfactorily treated by the wetland system and recommended a refusal.source: www.freefoto.com

    An Bord Pleanala did not support the inspector’s recommendation   however and granted permission. A critical element of the proposal from  the Board’s perspective was that it was predominantly within the development limit of Clontibret, which is identified as a village in the Monaghan County Development Plan 2007 – 2013.

      There have been a number of applications country-wide for truck parks and the majority have been refused by An Bord Pleanala.  The key difference with this truck park is that it was predominantly contained within a village boundary rather than an unserviced Greenfield rural location.

    Published on September 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , , ,
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  • An Bord Pleanala have granted permission for a private hospital in Sligo overturning the decision of Sligo County Council to refuse permission. The proposed three storey hospital is to be located on a 7 hectare site approximately 3 kilometres sought of Sligo Town near the Carrowroe Interchange on the N4.

    Although the lands were suitably zoned for a hospital land use Sligo County Council refused permission for 3 no. reasons relating to prematurity pending the route selection for a city by-pass, prematurity pending deficiency and provision of foul sewage facilities and inadequate information about potential impact of archaeology.

    The applicant argued that the proposed development will not impact on any future by-pass route for the city as the route has not been formulated at present and the amended Sligo and Environs Plan has resulted in the omission of a possible westbound by-pass.

    An Taisce questioned the out of town location  and the lack of public transport provision.

    The Board’s inspector agreed with the Council in respect of the first two reasons for refusal and recommended a refusal.

    Despite the Council’s refusal and the Inspector’s recommended refusal An Bord Pleanala granted permission noting that the developer had made adequate provision for future road provision in the area and further considered that there was adequate capacity for a foul sewerage connection at Caltragh.

    Published on September 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , ,
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  • An Bord Pleanála have upheld the decision of Kildare County Council to refuse permission for a discount store in the grounds of The Keadeen Hotel on the outskirts of Newbridge, Co. Kildare.  The applicant had sought permission for minor works to the hotel and grounds along with a new discount store.  The Board issued a split decision granting permission for the hotel works but refusing permission for the discount food store. 

    There was one reason for refusal which focused on the proposed location of the discount foodstore outside the retail core of the town.  It was considered that this location would undermine the retail function of the town centre and would be contrary to the Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities, the policies in the Kildare County Development Plan the Newbridge Local Area Plan, 2003, which seek to channel retail development into the town centre where it would contribute to the vitality and viability of the town centre and strengthen the retail function of the town. 

    This decision is of interest given that many discount stores are located on the fringes of towns around the country.

    Published on September 28, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Retail Planning; Tagged as: , ,
    1 Comment
  • Phase 1 of the ‘Altitude’ leisure and tourism park was proposed on a 32-acre site in Dundalk, Co Louth, close to the M1 motorway.  Louth County Council granted permission however the decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanala by the Louth Environment Group and An Taisce. The Board refused permission on the basis that the proposed development would be an unsustainable car-dependent development and was also found to be in an area vulnerable to coastal flooding. A previous application for a ski and leisure facility by another developer, Cobalt Developments Ltd, was also refused permission by An Bord Pleanala in Fingal.

    Published on August 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions;
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  • An Bord Pleanala has overturned the decision of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council to refuse permission for the construction of 71 dwellings.  The proposal involved the demolition 5 houses and stables/out building sand the construction of 71 dwellings on a site of 2.6 hectares at ‘Deerfield’, ‘Ancrum’ and ‘Grange Hill’, Harold’s Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin.  Part of the site already had permission for an apartment scheme (151 units).

    The Council refused permission for one reason “Having regard to the lack of continuation between the existing and proposed pedestrian footpath on Harold’s grange Road, the proposed development would endanger public safety (including pedestrian safety) by reason of a traffic hazard or obstruction of road users and is therefore contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.  The Council had previously requested the developer to reach an agreement with an adjoining landowner to provide a continuation of the footpath. Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on July 31, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions;
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  • A question has arisen as to whether the use of a portion of the overall premises for ancillary purposes, comprising multi-purpose display, reception, storage and sale activities at Unit W1E, Tougher’s Business Park, Ladytown, Naas, County Kildare is or is not development or is or is not exempted development.

    The applicant stated that the principal use of this overall premises is for finishing, cutting, adapting for sale and packing of meat which is then sold, on a bulk basis, to third parties principally restaurateurs and other factories. Large scale quantities of meat are brought into this facility and the owner undertakes portion-control and an element of treatment before selling on produce to third parties.

    The main operational area of the premises is laid out in an open-plan manner, to which access is restricted. There is a small area, to the front and this area, is separated from the operational area, so as to facilitate its use as a public trade counter. This area is also used for displaying meat, particularly with shorter sell-by-dates due to cancellations by restaurateurs, butchers outlets and other factories. The products are stored also used for charitable organisations.

    It was contended by the applicant that a change of use can occur which is not substantial or material. This was backed up by reference to case law. Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on July 31, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Retail Planning;
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  • An Bord Pleanala have granted permission to ESB Wind Development Limited to extend Cappawhite Windfarm in Tipperary .

    The applicant has sought permission for an additional 14 turbines.  Each wind turbine will have an overall maximum dimension of 126 metres, comprising a tower 80-85 metres high, with three blades of 41-45 metres length.

    The Council (Tipperary South) had granted permission however the decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanala by  and Cappawhite Environs against Wind Turbines Placement Group.

    They  pointed out that noted that within a 6 kilometre radius of Cappawhite, there are already 64 wind turbines with planning permission and in various stages of development.

     Although the new turbines were at a higher ground level that the existing turbines An Bord Pleanala granted permission omitting 4 turbines by condition due to the visual impact on a local village.  They also imposed a condition limiting the operational period to 25 years in order to allow a review of the operation at that time.

     

     

     

    Published on May 31, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as: ,
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