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  • An Bord Pleanala have refused permission to demolish an abattoir and construct an Equestrian Tourism Facility in the grounds of Turnings House outside Straffan in County Kildare. The proposal involved an equestrian tourism building incorporating a language school for foreign students with overnight accommodation for up to 60 students and staff, along with 40 stables and associated equestrian works.

    This was a second attempt by the applicants who had previously been refused permission by the Board for reasons relating to flooding, assimilative capacity of a nearby river and unsustainable form of development at this location given the constraints of the surrounding area. An in-between application has been refused by the Council. The proposal also included road improvements, 28 car parking spaces, three coach parking spaces, construction of flood berms, and associated works.

    freedigitalphotos.net

    freedigitalphotos.net


    Kildare County Council refused permission on the grounds Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on February 18, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as:
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  • An Bord Pleanala have overturned the decision of Offaly County Council to grant permission for 10 wind turbines south of the village of Cloghan in County Offaly. This decision is of significance given the large-scale wind farm proposals envisaged for the county and the wider midlands area. The decision is also significant as it highlights that the visual impact on open landscapes, such as bogland which is widespread in the midlands, is a material consideration in terms of wind farm development.

    The applicant had applied for permission for 10 wind turbines on a site of 15.8 hectares owned by 7 different landowners. Each turbine would have a hub height of up to 110 metres and rotor diameter of up to 120 metres, with an overall maximum tip height of up to 170 metres. Associated site development works were also proposed. The predominant use in the area is for peat purposes, including cutover bogs for commercial purposes and agricultural lands.

    source: freedigitalphotos.net

    source: freedigitalphotos.net

    The Planning Authority decided to grant planning permission for the proposed development subject to 18 no. conditions including the restriction of the height of the turbine to 110m hub and rotor of 120m.

    The decision was appealed Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on January 9, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as:
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  • In a move replicating motions which have been passed by Westmeath and Offaly County Councils, Kildare County Council Labour Councillors have tabled a motion which seeks to vary the county development plan to include new policy restrictions on wind farm development.

    The following motion in relation to wind farm development has been tabled:

    “Councillors Browne, Byrne, Purcell, McGinley and Wall

    That the council vary the Kildare County Development Plan 2011-2017; 18.9 Energy and Communications and 18.9.1 Wind Energy Proposals, to include the following:

    -          A minimum set-back from a residence of 10 times the height of the turbine, where the turbine exceeds 100 metres. 

    -          Any proposal must show consideration for its impact on indigenous industries within the county and any impact, if any, such a proposal might have.

    -          Any proposal must consider the potential impact on the health and welfare, if any, of those living in the vicinity of the proposed development.”

    This motion will come before the Full Council at the Council meeting on Monday 21st October.

    ‘South Kildare Against Spin’, a local group who have formed to tackle proposed new wind farm development in the south of the county, have urged support for the Labour Party Motion and have called on all members of Kildare County Council, irrespective of party affiliation, to support the above motion stating that:- Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on October 15, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Rural Planning;
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  • Further to a previous article on the Council taking enforcement action against a homeowner in Co. Wicklow (see  post from Nov 7th 2012) there is now an update:

    The High Court have refused to make a demolition order against Ms. Katie Fortune for building a chalet in Lough Dan, Roundwood, Co. Wicklow.  Ms. Fortune has lived in the chalet for 14 years in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Mr Justice Gerard Hogan refused to make a demolition order as the council had not provided any compelling evidence that the house was completely at odds with public policy objectives.  Although the chalet was unauthorised in his view the house did not jeopardise or threaten other parties’ rights.  In relation to the issue of being located in an outstanding area of natural beauty the Judge, having visited the site, considered the chalet was entirely hidden away from view and did not detract from any of the great vistas which are one of the glories of the Wicklow uplands.

    Other unauthorised structures on the site are still to be determined in terms of their potential demolition.

    Published on June 10, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Court Cases, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , ,
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  • The Irish Farmers Journal carried an article from irishplanningnews.ie 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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  • 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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  • A question came before An Bord Pleanala as to whether the occasional use of agricultural lands as a grass airstrip for private use by a light aircraft at Glenealy, County Wicklow constitutes development and whether it is exempted development.  Whilst there have been numerous decisions confirming that helipads are not exempted development I understand this is the first case of its kind to come before the Board in respect of an air strip on agricultural lands.

    The owner of the airstrip had previously sought a declaration on the question from Wicklow County Council who decided that that is was development and was not exempted development.

    An Bord Pleanála concluded that the established use of the land is for agricultural purposes, however, a change of use of the subject lands occurs for the time that aircraft approaches, lands and takes off.  The Board therfore concluded that this is a material change of use of the land.  On the basis of the written documentation submitted on behalf of the Referrer, this change of use of this nature has occurred on circa 72 occasions in the past 12 months and is not so fleeting or infrequent as to be considered a temporary change of use.  There is no exemption for such use in planning legislation.   Therefore the Board decided that the occasional use of agricultural lands as a grass airstrip for private use by a light airplane at Glenealy, County Wicklow is development and is not exempted development.

    The net effect of this decision is that retention planning permission is now required to regularize the change of use of the land.

    Published on January 16, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Exempted Development, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , , ,
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  • Wexford County Council put a question to An Bord Pleanala as to whether the use of agricultural land at Duncormick in Wexford as a clay pigeon shoot for limited periods in any year is or is not development or is or is not exempted development:

     An Bord Pleanála concluded that –

    •  the use of the lands is for agricultural purposes,
    • the use of the land for clay pigeon shooting is a sporting/recreational use, which is  undertaken by visitors to the farmer’s land,
    • a change of use of the land occurs when clay pigeon shooting takes place,
    • this change of use is material and gives rise to impacts in relation to noise, traffic and environmental impacts,
    • the change of use occurs on a regular basis, and
    • the nature of the change of use is considered an activity and not an event, so therefore does not benefit from any exemption under the Planning Regulations.

     An Bord Pleanála, therefore concluded  that the said use of agricultural land at Duncormick, County Wexford for use as a clay pigeon shoot for limited periods in any year is development and is not exempted development.

    Published on November 19, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Rural Planning; Tagged as: ,
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  • A recent judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Hogan in the High Court (4th October 2012) has raised a very interesting issue in terms of the weight that should be placed on Article 40.5 of the Irish Constitution in terms of deciding on an application by a local authority to seeking an order to demolish a dwelling built without the benefit of planning permission.  Article 40.5 states that:

     “The dwelling of every citizen is inviolable and shall not be forcibly entered save in accordance with law”.

    In the case of Wicklow County Council -v- Fortune Justice Hogan was dealing with a situation where the defendant, Ms. Fortune, had constructed a small timber framed chalet approximately 70 sq. m. in size in a wooded area of high natural beauty in Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow. The Council had postponed enforcement proceedings pending a retention application by Mr. Fortune however when An Bord Pleanala ultimately refused permission for the house the Council made an application to the Circuit Court for an injunction to remove the dwelling.  The Circuit Court found in favour of the Council and ordered that the site should be demolished. The case came before Justice Hogan on appeal to the High Court.

    Justice Hogan noted in his judgement that this appeal from a decision of the Circuit Court raises “difficult and, in some respects, novel issues concerning the application of the Planning and Development Act 2000”.  One of the key issues related to the nature of the “inviolability” of the dwelling as provided for in Article 40.5 of the Constitution and to what extent, if at all, can this constitutional provision be invoked by the home owner by way of defence to an application for an injunction which would seek to compel him or her to remove an unauthorized dwelling.

    As noted by Justice Hogan Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on November 7, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Court Cases, Planning Legislation, Residentail, Rural Planning; 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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  • A query came before An Bord Pleanala in as to whether the erection of a wind turbine at Kealfadda, Goleen, County Cork is or is not exempted development.

    The planning authority noted that while such development is normally exempt under the Planning Regulations the restrictions on exemptions under Article 9 de-exempted the development because it is visible from a scenic route designated in the County Development Plan.  They declared that the turbine was not exempted development.

    Article 9(1)(a)(vi) of the Regulations de-exempts development which would interfere with the character of a landscape, or a protected view in a development plan or even a draft development plan.

    The An Bord Pleanala Inspector noted that the site is not located in a designated ‘scenic landscape’ but is visible from a number scenic routes designated in the Cork County Development Plan.  The key issue however Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on October 31, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Exempted Development, Green Energy, 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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  • Since the issuing of notices to quarry owners and operators there has been a lot of queries about substitute consent, what it involves and what needs to be done next.

    The first decision that needs to be made if the Council have directed an owner/operator to apply to An Bord Pleanala for substitute consent is if the Council’s decision needs to be challenged. The owner/operator has 21 days from the notice to seek a review and this stops the clock in terms of the substitute consent deadline (12 weeks). The reason for seeking a review would want to be very solid as there is a risk that the Board could decide that the Council’s decision to require a substitute consent application was wrong. This could ultimately lead to the closure of the quarry.

    If the decision is to proceed with making a substitute consent application to An Bord Pleanala then further decisions need to be made about seeking a pre-planning meeting with An Bord Pleanala (no fee), scoping of the remedial EIS (significant fee) and the need to extend the 12 week period. The latter requires a genuine reason for an extension. The key issue is not to miss the deadline whether it be 12 weeks or the extended version as this would be fatal in terms of the application.

    Published on September 7, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , , ,
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  • Local Authorities across the country have recently completed issuing notices to quarry owners.  These notices will inform the owners to either seek substitute consent from An Bord Pleanala or that they will be the subject of enforcement action by the council who will seek to close the operation.  Quarry owners have the right to seek a review of the Council’s decision within 21 days from An Bord Pleanala. The substitute consent process is subject to a tight timeframe of 12 weeks given that a remedial EIS or Appropriate Assessment will be required to be completed as part of the application. These notices arose from significant changes to the planning acts and are an effort to retrospectively address situations where development which was likely to have a significant impact on the environment was never actually assessed at the time.  The implications for quarry owners are serious as many face closure.  The benefit for those quarry owners that manage to go through the process and come out the far side is that there will be far less operators to compete against.

    Published on August 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Notices, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , ,
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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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  •  An Bord Pleanala have overturned Kerry County Council’s decision to refuse permission for a wind farm comprising 28 turbines at Knockauncurragh, Coom, Glanowen and Glanawaddra, Cordal, County Kerry.

     The Council refused permission on the basis that:

     The application has not demonstrated that the proposed development will not

    • give rise to water pollution during and after construction.
    •  The application has not demonstrated that it would not have unacceptable impact on the public road network.
    •  The proposal could interfere with aircraft safety. 

    The Board agreed with their Inspector that permission should however be granted.  The application has been subject to an oral hearing and involved further information being submitted to the Board for consideration.

     “It is considered that, subject to compliance with the conditions set out below, the proposed development will not give rise to water pollution or endanger aircraft safety, will not give rise to traffic hazard or to injury to the visual or residential amenity of the area, and will otherwise accord with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

    Published on May 31, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as: ,
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  • An application for an Anaerobic Digestion/Combined Heat & Power facility consisting of a) Anaerobic Digestion/Combined Heat & Power plant (1,400sq.m.) containing two 10m high tanks, b) 7m high covered silage clamps (1,500sq.m.), c) single storey office/laboratory unit (78sq.m.) and d) all associated site development works has been lodged in Rathmooney, Lusk, Fingal. 

    An application for a similar Anaerobic Digestion in a rural location was refused by Wicklow County Council on the grounds of the inability of the local road network to deal with the traffic and visual amenity.

    Published on May 31, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Rural Planning, Significant Planning Applications; Tagged as:
    No Comments
  • An Bord Pleanála have refused permission to Ecopower Developments Limited for 9 no. number wind turbines at County Waterford.  The site involved 62.7 hectares of land in the control of Coillte.

     The Council refused permission having regard to the scale and layout on a scenic exposed upland area which would constitute a visually dominant and prominent obtrusive feature within a vulnerable scenic rural landscape when seen against the elevated skyline background from public roads (including a designated Scenic route).

     The ultimate reason for refusal given by the Board however is somewhat unusual in that they refused permission on the inadequacy of the EIS, rather than the actual proposed development itself.

     “Notwithstanding the site location in a preferred area for wind energy in the Waterford County Development Plan 2011-2017, having regard to the following deficiencies in the EIS and documents submitted by the applicant in the course of the application and appeal:

    •  inadequate assessment of visual impacts and potential impacts on tourism,
    • inadequate assessment of potential impacts on water quality and proposals in relation to drainage management,
    • inadequate assessment in relation to transportation and local road improvements (including potential impacts on architectural heritage and ecology), and
    • inadequate assessment of potential ecological impacts including on bird species and on the Natura 2000 network in the wider area,

     the Board is not satisfied that the proposed development would not have significant adverse effects on the environment. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

    Published on April 26, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , ,
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  •  Eirgrid are proposing a high voltage corridor, most likely overhead and covering at least 250km with pylons every 4km in an effort to address deficiencies in energy supply.

    The proposed lines will go through Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow

    Submission are being sought as part of a non-statutory consultation process from today and will run for an eight-week, Thursday 12th April 2012 to Friday 8th June 2012.

    Further details including a map of the study area are available at

    http://www.eirgridprojects.com/projects/gridlink/

    Published on April 12, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Notices, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , , , ,
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