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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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