Category Archives: Planning

Joe McCarthy has published a web site with a wealth of information on two issues close to my heart: electronic voting and incineration. Aptly named, it contains documents compiled from Joe’s freedom of information requests on eVoting, and extracts from his submission to An Bord Pleanála on the proposed incinerator at Poolbeg.

It all makes for interesting reading. And if that whets your appetite, you can read the submission I drafted for John Gormley on the incinerator.

An Taisce and planning

It’s been quite a while since I last posted but I suppose I’ve just been waiting for an excuse. I had a letter published in yesterday’s Irish Times which seems as good an excuse as any.

The background is a column by John Waters, “Beware the unelected busybodies” (subscription required), which contained the usual vitriol directed at the “chinless wonders” of An Taisce. The column drew the following letter of support from Liam Aylward MEP:

A Chara, – I would like to lend my full support to John Waters’s column on An Taisce’s negative role in blocking once-off rural housing developments.

People living in rural Ireland should have the right to build a home on their own land. An Taisce’s efforts to thwart this process at every turn is denying people the basic right to house their own families.

The people working in An Taisce have no democratic mandate, yet the policies they pursue have a very serious impact on the political direction that local authorities take when it comes to the granting or otherwise of planning permission for once-off houses in our country.

Ireland at present also has an ever-increasing population. We need policies which ensure that we can house our people in both urban and rural parts of Ireland.

If An Taisce has its way, then all progress will be blocked and Irish people who own their own lands will be powerless to build houses for their own families into the future. The power of An Taisce must be reined back.- Is mise,

LIAM AYLWARD MEP, Hugginstown, Co Kilkenny.

I was moved to fire off the following response, which was deemed worthy of publication for some reason:

Madam, – Liam Aylward MEP, as a representative of the main Government party, should be aware that “the political direction that local authorities take when it comes to the granting or otherwise of planning permission for once-off houses in our country” is set not by An Taisce, but by the Government and the local authorities themselves.

An Taisce’s only role is to highlight to planners cases where proposed developments would be contrary to these policies.

Mr Aylward says that An Taisce’s power “must be reined back”, but An Taisce has no powers either to set policy or to enforce policy – these are functions of Government.

I am not a member of An Taisce but I know a scapegoating exercise when I see one. – Yours, etc,


Scully’s Field: An Bord Pleanála refuses permission for 92 apartments

An Bord Pleanála has reversed Dublin City Council’s decision to grant permission for 92 apartments on Scully’s Field in Milltown. This is excellent news, and I’m particularly pleased that permission was refused on the substantive issue of the zoning of the site. The reasons given by the Board are below:

  1. The site of the proposed development is located in an area zoned ‘Z9′ in the current Dublin City Development Plan, where it is an objective of the planning authority to preserve, provide and improve recreational amenity and open space. This zoning objective is considered reasonable. The site of the proposed development is also adjoining similarly zoned lands. Having regard to the scale of the proposed residential development, it is considered that the proposed development would contravene materially the zoning objective for the site and would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
  2. It is considered that the scale of the proposed development would intrude significantly into the open character and appearance of the site and the setting to the River Dodder thereby detracting from its natural and organic character and unique natural amenity. The proposed development would, therefore, seriously injure the visual amenities of the area and be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

The Board is still considering an appeal in respect of a related application for 18 apartments on the same site, but as this is interdependent with the larger application it seems unlikely to go ahead.

Proposed Amendments to Draft Development Plan 2005-2011

If you have any interest in planning in Dublin City, get yourself down to Wood Quay to check out the latest version of the draft Dublin City Development Plan 2005-2011. The maps on display in the Atrium of Civic Offices show the zoning changes etc. proposed by the elected members of Dublin City Council. The proposed amendments to the written statement which accompanies the maps can be viewed in this PDF document (1.4 MB).

Observations must be made by 10th November 2004.

Scully’s Field: Lodging an appeal

I’m hoping to organise an appeal by the Green Party against the Scully’s Field decision, further to the objection to the original proposal lodged by Claire Wheeler, John Gormley, Ciaran Fallon and myself.

The Scully’s Field River Park Action Group have issued a newsletter with details of how to appeal the planning decision, and how to make an observation in respect of an appeal.

Read on for the full text.
Continue reading

Permission granted for 92 apartments on Scully’s Field

Scully's Field, Milltown, DublinDublin City Council have granted permission for the larger part of the proposed development on Scully’s Field. Scully’s Field is a site adjacent to the River Dodder between Milltown and Clonskeagh, and the local community have been fighting a long-term battle to have the site made available as a public park or natural amenity. This planning permission is a major blow to the campaign, but it will be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Another planning application is still being considered, for 18 apartments on a portion of the site in different ownership. If this is granted it will have to be appealed separately.

I’m going to try to get my hands on the planner’s report, but in the meantime a summary of the planning application is available.