Key Changes Introduced by New Planning Legislation

The Planning and Development, Maritime, and Valuation (Amendment) Bill 2022 was passed on the 14th July 2022. The Bill has been introduced to amend the Planning and Development Act 2000.

The main changes introduced by the new bill are as follows:

Judicial Review Provisions

An amendment to Section 50A seeks to limit the circumstances in which leave to apply for judicial review will be granted. The court will be required to consider whether there is an adequate appeal or other administrative remedy available to the applicant and if so, it should not grant leave for judicial review until any available appeal procedures have been exhausted. It is also proposed to provide for an effective presumption that the matter can be remitted back to An Bord Pleanála at the commencement of the legal proceedings.

Substitute Consent

The new Bill will amend Part XA to streamline substitute consent process in the planning system. The leave stage is removed under the new legislation, and the definition of ‘exceptional circumstances’ is amended to reflect the movement of the exceptionality criteria to the substantive application stage.

Long-term Rental Market in Rent Pressure Zones

From the 1st September, online platforms, such as AirBnB, are not able to advertise properties in RPZs which do not have a the requisite planning permission, or the development is exempt. Exempted development includes your principal home of residence, i.e the home that you live in. Non-compliance with these provisions will be an offence for the property owner and the online platforms.

Opinion on Planning Permission and Design Options from the Local Authority

An applicant who intends to apply for certain planning permissions (permission for development under section 34 of the PDA, strategic infrastructure developments under Schedule 7 of the PDA, permission in respect of cables, wires and pipelines under sections 182 B and 182 D of the PDA), under the new legislation, is able to obtain an opinion as to flexibility with regard to the application for permission by convening a meeting with the relevant consenting authority before submitting their application.

The applicant must provide the consenting authority with a description of the nature of the details of the proposed development. The local authority must inform the prospective applicant if the details provided are satisfactory for an opinion to be formed. If unsatisfactory, the applicant must also be informed. An opinion will only be made public when the planning application is made.

Where permission is granted pursuant to this procedure, it will include a condition in respect of any detail of the development which was not yet been confirmed at the time.

Planning Applications to Planning Authorities

Amendments are proposed to Section 34(12) of the PDA which concerns planning applications to planning authorities. Amendments made at Section 34(12) extend the current obligation that only the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)/ Appropriate Assessment (AA) position at the time an existing development took place (which may be disputed or unclear) will be considered. Under the new legislation, planning authorities and the relevant consenting authority will now have to consider both past and present EIA or AA requirements applicable to an existing development in question. However, the relevant consenting authority will refuse to consider an application on appeal if an EIA/AA is required. In such a situation, the application to retain unauthorised development shall be deemed to be withdrawn.

Simultaneous Applications

The new Bill amends the process around simultaneous applications for future development under Section 37L. The amendments introduced under the new legislation widen the availability of the future development to all types of development.

Under the new legislation, the relevant consenting authority will be required to decide on the application for future development at the same time or as soon as possible after a decision on the application for substitute consent. This amendment is to encourage the regularisation and remediation of unauthorised developments. It should be noted that if the substitute consent application is refused, the future development proposal must also be refused.

Amendments to Maritime Area Planning Act 2021

The new legislation also introduces a number of key changes to the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021, including:

  • A new Chapter on judicial review of matters relating to a maritime spatial plan (‘MSP’) or designated maritime area plan (‘DMAP’). Under the new section 33A, a public body which is concerned with a matter under this part may refer the matter to the High Court for a decision. The only manner in which a person may challenge the validity of a decision or act done by a public body under this part in relation to a MSP or DMAP is through judicial review.
  • Amendment of the provision relating to the appointment of a chief executive of the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (‘MARA’).
  • Specification that the development permission and the maritime area consent (‘MAC’) must be fully consistent with each other or that the updated provisions relating to reconciling the MAC and the development permission detailed below are followed before any right is conferred.
  • Provision for amendment to the MAC where there is an irreconciliation between a provision of the MAC and a provision of a development permission for the maritime usage the subject of the MAC. This amendment will be to the extent necessary to remove that irreconciliation in favour of the provision in the development permission and all other provisions of the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021, as amended.
  • Provision for special enforcement notices which will be issued by MARA when MARA is of the opinion that a relevant ground applies to a holder and the gravity or potential gravity of such ground is so great that the procedure related to a special enforcement notice should apply rather than the standard enforcement notice procedure.
  • Specification of grounds for termination of a relevant authorisation, including for example failure to comply with development permission in respect of maritime usage the subject of permission where the failure is not remedied.

Open Consultations on Development Plans

Draft Lissenhall East LAP (Fingal County Council) 2022-2028

Pursuant to Section 20 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), Fingal County Council has prepared a Draft Local Area Plan (LAP) for Lissenhall East, Swords, Co. Dublin.

A copy of these documents may be inspected from Wednesday 31st August 2022 to Wednesday 12th October 2022 (both dates inclusive) at the following locations:

Fingal County Council Offices:

  • Civic Offices, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 (during normal office opening hours, Monday to Thursday 9.00a.m.-5.00p.m. and Friday 9.00a.m.- 4.30p.m.
  • County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Co. Dublin (during normal office opening hours, Monday to Thursday 9.00a.m.-5.00p.m. and Friday 9.00a.m.- 4.30p.m.

Other locations:

  • Swords Library, Rathbeale Rd, Commons West, Swords, Co. Dublin (during opening hours).
  • On the County Council’s online portal here 

Submissions or observations in respect of the Draft LAP and associated environmental reports must be made by no later than 5pm on the 12th October 2022. All submissions can be made online here or in writing to Senior Executive Officer, Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Department, Fingal County Council, County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Co. Dublin, K67 X8Y2.

Kenmare Municipal District Local Area Plan 2022-2028 Pre-Draft Consultation

The new Kenmare Municipal District LAP will replace the existing West Iveragh LAP 2019-2025, Killorglin Functional Area LAP 2010-2016, the Kenmare Functional Area LAP 2010-2016, and the Cahersiveen, Waterville & Sneem Functional Areas LAP 2013-2019.

Submissions or observations on any issues which may need to be considered in the preparation of the Draft Kenmare Municipal District Local Area Plan are hereby invited from members of the public and other interested parties. Children, or groups or associations representing the interests of children, are entitled to make submissions or observations.

Submissions or observations must be made during the period from Thursday 4th August 2022 until Friday 9th September 2022. All submissions can be made online here or in writing to Planning Policy Unit, Kerry County Council, County Buildings, Rathass, Tralee, Co. Kerry, V92 H7VT, marked Kenmare MD LAP Pre Draft.