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  • Renewal of Temporary Permission Refused

    An Board Pleanala made an interesting decision recently regarding the continuation of a gaming & amusement arcade they had previously granted on a temporary basis, refusing it this time around even though there was no change in planning policy.

    The applicant sought continuation of existing gaming & amusement arcade at ground floor permitted under Board reference PL35.240508 at 46 Leinster Street, Athy, Co. Kildare. The Board had previously granted a temporary 3 year permission for use as a gaming and amusement arcade.

    The building in which the use exits was formerly known as Hibernian Bank, and then it was used as insurance offices. It is a five bay three storey terrace building with an ornate design and granite finish. The site is located within an Architectural Conservation Area, and the building is a protected structure.

    There had been an issue about compliance with a condition of the original permission regarding signage. Under the proposal a partially frosted window with minimal signage was proposed.
    Kildare County Council refused permission.

    In a first party appeal to An Bord Pleanala the appellant noted that this is the only amusement arcade in Athy and the gaming and amusement arcade has been operating for three years now with no incidences occurred which could be considered detrimental to the town centre. There has been no change in planning policy governing the area since the previous decision.
    The An Bord Pleanala Inspector concluded that “during that three year period granted by the Board the applicant has done nothing to enhance the protected structure other than to occupy it” and the “applicant had the opportunity to comply with the planning conditions imposed by the Board (regarding signage) but he failed to do so”.

    The Board refused permission (by a majority of 2 : 1) for two reasons:

    1. The Board previously granted planning permission for the proposed development on a temporary basis for a period of three years only on the basis that the use would contribute to the maintenance of the Protected Structure. Notwithstanding this previous grant of planning permission, it is considered that the continued use of the premises as a gaming and amusement arcade would detract from the primary retail use of the street and from the vitality and vibrancy of the town centre. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

    2. Having regard to the Protected Structure designation of the building and its location within a visually sensitive Architectural Conservation Area, it is considered that the proposed signage, which is reliant on opaque screening, directly affixed to the fenestration and door of the protected structure, would detract from the quality of this building and result in dead street frontage and accordingly, would adversely affect the Architectural Conservation Area. The signage as proposed would detract from the visual amenities of the area and the preservation of the character of the building and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

    The first reason for refusal is of particular note in that it would normally be assumed that the purpose of a temporary permission is to establish if the use involved will become a bad neighbour over time as a result of noise, general disturbance etc. If there is evidence of complaints of this manner then the Council or the Board can refuse to extend the use under a new permission to continue. However, in this instance the use appears to have functioned without issue. There was also no change in planning policy which is important. Instead, the key determinant appears to have been that the Board simply turned on their original opinion about the suitability of the use and deemed that it was now inappropriate in terms of the impact on the street. This would appear to directly conflict with their original view.

    Published on February 26, 2016 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions;
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