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  • A question I’m often asked by architects is if they can make amendments to a proposed development as part of a first party appeal. The simple answer is yes; but it is qualified by the fact that the amendments must be of a nature that the Board could have applied by condition. In other words, if the amendments were of a significant nature and substantially altered the proposed development the Board cannot take these into consideration as third parties had no opportunity to comment on them. It is only in instances where the amendments are of a relatively minor nature and could have been conditioned that the Board will accept them. Each case is assessed on its merits by the Board and the Board will always notify appellants who include amendments in the letter of acknowledgement that amendments may not be taken into consideration pending assessment.

    In fact, even in cases where the Board’s own inspectors recommend a grant of permission subject to design alternations, the Board can subsequently form the view that these alterations are too radical and cannot be addressed by a planning condition. The Board are aware that a condition of this nature involves agreement with the local authority only and does not have any third party. Therefore they have to consider to what extent changes or amendments can be allowed.

    A typical example of this was the recent decision by the Board in respect of a mixed use development including retail and student accommodation, at a protected structure on 1-6 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. The inspector recommend a grant of permission including a condition which required a series of design amendments including the omission of an apartment; extension of a retail unit or similar use to fill the void; relocation of the bicycle storage room; recessing the front elevation and recessing the sixth floor of the three east-west block; replacing an grafitti wall with a plinth wall and amending the elevations of these blocks to provide a more light-weight approach incorporating curtain walling and incorporating articulation to break up the overall mass of the blocks and to provide a more vertical emphasis. The Board however refused permission partly relating to these specific issues. The Board’s Direction noted that the amendments suggested by the Inspector would “radically transform the building” and “were too great to be addressed by condition”.

    Published on May 13, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Comments on Planning; Tagged as: ,
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