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  • The Minister of the Environment, Community and Local Government has issued an update in relation to certain sections of the Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures Guidelines (1996) which planning authorities use to draft planning policies and assess planning applications.  The purpose of the updates is to support the planning system in facilitating the objectives set out under the National Broadband Plan. There are a number of significant changes included in these updates:

    Planning authorities should not include separation distances (i.e. from houses, protected structures, schools etc) in development plans as they prevent case-by-case analysis and can inadvertently have a major impact on the roll out of a viable and effective telecommunications network.  This will have implications for a number of planning authorities around the country who include specific distances, often up to 1 kilometre, from schools, houses etc.  It will also have implications for local communities who wish to object to proposed masts as they often could rely on policies which required such separation distances to be met in order to get the application refused.

    Planning authorities are advised that conditions limiting the life of telecommunication masts and antennae to a set temporary period should cease, except in exceptional circumstances.  The temporary nature of permissions meant that resident groups had the comfort that they could challenge any new application when the temporary period was finished.  This option will be removed as the structures will be permitted on a permanent basis. Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on November 13, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines; Tagged as: , , ,
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  • In the President’s address at the Irish Planning Institute’s National Planning Conference the focus was on the number of planning authorities in the country and whether these are really required. 

    The Presidents questioning of this system of planning authorities is about time in my opinion. There are a total of 88 planning authorities in (the Republic of) Ireland each with its own elected members etc.  This seems crazy given the fact that there are only 26 counties and the entire population of Ireland is similar to that of Manchester.  Whilst a case can be made for Fingal, South Dublin and Dun Laoighaire Rathdown the same cannot be said of other counties. Take Kildare for example which has separate authorities for the county, Naas and Athy.  Athy is not even one of the most populous towns in the county.  Surely one planning authority for the county is sufficient.  If the county council can deal with planning in Newbridge, Leixlip, Celbridge, Maynooth etc then it can also include Naas and Athy.

    Published on April 26, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Comments on Planning; Tagged as: ,
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