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Written Answers - Planning Issues

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 303.  Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he will address the situation whereby planning applications for an extension of time are being refused following on from previous grant of full planning permission due to a [457]change in environmental guidelines; if he will amend the 2010 Planning Act to resolve this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6217/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan Section 28 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 amended Section 42 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 to provide that the duration of a planning permission may be extended where substantial works have not been done, or where the development has not even commenced, in cases where the planning authority is satisfied that there were considerations of a commercial, economic or technical nature beyond the control of the applicant which substantially militated against either the commencement of development or the carrying out of substantial works, pursuant to the planning permission (again provided that an application complying with the relevant Regulations was made before the expiration of the initial period). This latter provision is, however, subject to the following qualifications—

that the planning authority is satisfied that there have been no significant changes in the development objectives in the development plan or in regional development objectives in the Regional Planning Guidelines for the area of the planning authority since the date of the permission such that the development would no longer be consistent with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,

that the planning authority is satisfied that the development would not be inconsistent with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, having regard to any guidelines issued by the Minister under section 28, notwithstanding that they were so issued after the date of the grant of permission in relation to which an application is made under this section, and/or

that the planning authority is satisfied where the development has not commenced, that an environmental impact assessment, or an appropriate assessment, or both of those assessments, if required, was or were carried out before the permission was granted.

This means that in cases where substantial works have not been carried out, and where the relevant development plan objectives or the objectives in the relevant regional planning guidelines have changed since the permission was granted to the extent that the development in question would no longer be consistent with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, the duration of the permission will not be extended.

It should be noted that the previous provision remains in the Planning and Development Act 2000, whereby an extension of permission is automatically given on application, in a case where substantial works have been carried out within the original duration (subject only to the condition that an application complying with the relevant Regulations was made before the expiration of the initial period).

I consider that the amendment made in 2010 strikes an appropriate balance and that in cases where substantial works have not been carried out, the duration of permission should not be extended in respect of developments for which the planning authority would now refuse permission in respect of current applications. I have no plans to further amend the Act in this regard.


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