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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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  • An Bord Pleanala have granted permission for a private hospital in Sligo overturning the decision of Sligo County Council to refuse permission. The proposed three storey hospital is to be located on a 7 hectare site approximately 3 kilometres sought of Sligo Town near the Carrowroe Interchange on the N4.

    Although the lands were suitably zoned for a hospital land use Sligo County Council refused permission for 3 no. reasons relating to prematurity pending the route selection for a city by-pass, prematurity pending deficiency and provision of foul sewage facilities and inadequate information about potential impact of archaeology.

    The applicant argued that the proposed development will not impact on any future by-pass route for the city as the route has not been formulated at present and the amended Sligo and Environs Plan has resulted in the omission of a possible westbound by-pass.

    An Taisce questioned the out of town location  and the lack of public transport provision.

    The Board’s inspector agreed with the Council in respect of the first two reasons for refusal and recommended a refusal.

    Despite the Council’s refusal and the Inspector’s recommended refusal An Bord Pleanala granted permission noting that the developer had made adequate provision for future road provision in the area and further considered that there was adequate capacity for a foul sewerage connection at Caltragh.

    Published on September 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , ,
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