Special Planning Status
There are a number of types of enhanced Planning act protections, which a local authority may adopt in respect of particular areas. An area of special amenity designation ]is designed to secure the preservation and enhancement of the character and special features of an area. The Minister may direct the same. An ASA Order must be passed by the elected member.
When an ASA order is made by the planning authority, objections can be made within a certain period and the order will not become effective until approved by An Bord Pleanála. Once the period for objection has expired, the local authority must submit the Order together with objections to Bord Pleanála. Bord Pleanála must hold an oral hearing and consider its outcome, before amending, rejecting or accepting the Order. If there are no objections, Bord Pleanála may proceed directly to confirm, amend or reject the Order.
A Landscape Conservation Order is designed to preserve landscapes. Works which would otherwise be exempted from planning control, are not exempted in a Landscape Conservation Area. A planning authority which proposed to designate an LCA, must publish a notice and seek submissions. Certain statutory authorities whose input is considered appropriate must be notified.
The local authority may make the LCA, having regard to submissions and modifications made. Compensation is not payable if planning permission is refused because it would interfere with the character of an LCA or SAO.
Special Amenity Order
The planning authority may designate an area to be an area of special amenity. The order provides an objective for the preservation and enhancement of the character or special features of the area. This may include objectives to prevent or limit development within the area. The authority must be of the opinion that it should be so declared, by reason of its outstanding natural beauty or its special recreational value. The Department of the Environment and Local Government may direct a planning authority to make a special amenity area order.
The order may be revoked or amended from time to time. Where the order is made by direction of the Department, its consent is necessary to revocation or amendment. Once an area is designated a special amenity area, this must be taken into account, in deciding planning applications.
Much development which would be otherwise exempt from the requirement for planning permission, requires planning permission within a special amenity area. Most works of construction, erection, repair and replacement require permission. It also most commercial development and advertisements which would otherwise be exempt. The planning authority may define the terms of exemption when making the order.
Certain bodies must be notified of applications for planning permission within area They include An Tasice, the Arts Council the Irish Tourist Board. Compensation is not paid for refusals due to the designation of the area.
The National Roads Authority is to have regard to the order, in performing its functions in relation to national roads. This limits the wide powers that the National Roads Authority have in relation to works necessary to construct national roads.
The planning authority publishes proposals to make a special amenity area order. A copy is put on public display. Representations may be made. If objections are made and not withdrawn, an oral hearing must be held. Bord Pleanála must confirm the order before it takes effect. It may refuse to confirm or may confirm it, subject to amendment.
Landscape Conservation Area.
The planning authority may make an order designating an area as a landscape conservation area. The purpose is to preserve the area’s landscape. The planning authority gives notice of the proposal. It invites representation and submissions. The elected members may make the order, having considered the submissions and observations.
There is no entitlement to compensation where planning permission is refused by reason of adverse effect on a landscape conservation area. The exempt development regulations do not apply within a landscape conservation area, save to the extent that ministerial regulations otherwise provide. The planning authority may limit the scope of the disapplication of the exempt development regulations, in making the order.
Tree Preservation Order
A tree preservation order disapplies exemptions that otherwise apply, in respect of thinning, felling, and replanting of trees, forests and woodland. Breach of the order is a criminal offence.
A tree preservation order does not apply to the lopping and removal of dangerous or dead trees or where it is required for the abatement of a nuisance, removal of a hazard or by reason of legal requirements.
Where it appears to the planning authority that it is expedient in the interests of amenity or the environment, to make provision for the preservation of a tree, trees, a group or groups of trees or woodland, it may make a tree preservation order. The order may prohibit or permit subject to conditions and exemptions, the cutting down, lopping and destruction of trees. It may require the owner to enter an agreement with the authority to ensure the management of the trees and woodland. The authority may provide assistance, including financial assistance.
Notice of the tree preservation order must be served on the owner and occupier of the land concerned. Public notice of the intention to make the order must be given. Submissions and observations are requested within a period of at least six weeks. The planning authority, having considered the observations, may by resolution, make the order as proposed or as amended. The planning authority’s decision is not subject to confirmation or appeal.
Strategic Development Zone I
The Department of the Environment and Local Government may propose the designation of a strategic development zone. The Department consults with the relevant development agencies including IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta, the relevant local authority and other prescribed bodies. The order is ultimately made and revoked by the Government. Where in the opinion of the Government, development of a particular type is of economic and social importance to the State, it may order the designation of lands as a strategic development zone.
The order establishing the strategic development zone must specify the agency or agencies involved. It must specify the type of development permissible and the reasons for specifying and designating the development areas concerned. Ancillary development and development required for the purposes of permitted development, infrastructure and other facilities are permissible. The planning authority has powers to acquire lands for the purpose of the scheme.
A planning scheme must be prepared for the zone by the designated development agency. It may be prepared jointly with the relevant landowner, The planning scheme is to set out details of the type of permissible development, its extent, proposals for the overall design, maximum heights, finishes. It may include transportation proposals, including traffic management and parking. It may make proposals for services, including water, electricity, sewage and telecommunication. It may include proposals for minimising adverse effects on the environment.
Where residential development is included in the scheme, social and affordable housing provision is required in order to implement the housing strategy. The scheme may provide for amenities, facilities and services, where residential development is included..
A draft of the scheme is to be prepared after the designation order is made. It is submitted to the planning authority. Once the planning scheme is made and submitted to the authority, the authority must publicise the proposal in newspapers and by public display. Observations may be made. The Manager prepares a report on the submissions to the elected members.
Strategic Development Zones II
The elected members may approve the scheme. If they do not do so, it is deemed approved. The elected members may refuse to approve the scheme. They may vary or modify it. The decision of the elected members to confirm the scheme may be appealed to Bord Pleanála. The appeal may only be made by the relevant development agency or by persons who made observations or submissions. Bord Pleanála may confirm, refuse to confirm or confirm the scheme subject to conditions.
The planning authority and Bord Pleanála must consider the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, the provisions of the development plan, the housing strategy and any special designations in making the scheme. They must consider the effect the scheme would have on neighbouring land. Procedures apply to the amendment and revocation of the scheme. The development agency must consent to the variation of a planning scheme.
Once a planning scheme applies, permission may only be granted where it is consistent with the scheme. Planning decisions are not subject to Bord Pleanála appeal. In a strategic development zone, the planning authority must grant planning permission for applications where it is satisfied that the development would be consistent with the planning scheme in force.
The planning authority may acquire lands within the zone for the purpose of securing or facilitating sites for the purpose of the zone.
The planning authority may enter agreements with landowners for the purpose of facilitating the development of lands. The agreements are binding on the land and on subsequent owners. They are equivalent to a covenant on the title to the land. They may restrict or regulate its development and use. These agreements are registered in the planning register.
A landowner may not be required to enter the agreement as such. However, the planning agreement may be required as a condition of grant of planning permission. For example, conditions may be imposed requiring that the dwelling be occupied only by particular classes of persons (e.g. those speaking Irish or qualifying on some other basis). The restriction may apply permanently or for a particular period.
The agreement with may be entered with any person interested in land in their area, for the purpose of restricting or regulating the development or use of the land, either permanently or during such period as may be specified by the agreement, and any such agreement may contain such incidental and consequential provisions (including provisions of a financial character) as appear to the planning authority to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the agreement.
An agreement made with any person interested in land may be enforced by the planning authority, or any body joined with it, against persons deriving title under that person in respect of that land as if the planning authority or body, as may be appropriate, were possessed of adjacent land, and as if the agreement had been expressed to be made for the benefit of that land.
Nothing in any agreement made restricts the exercise, in relation to land which is the subject of any such agreement, of any powers exercisable by the Minister, the Board or the planning authority under this Act, so long as those powers are not exercised so as to contravene materially the provisions of the development plan, or as requiring the exercise of any such powers so as to contravene materially those provisions.
Removal of Advertising
The planning authority has the power to require removal of structures, discontinue uses, and require the removal of advertisements. This power may be exercised, even if the structure’s use or the advertisements are lawful. However, compensation is payable in this latter case.
If the planning authority decides (due to exceptional circumstances) that a structure should be demolished, removed, altered or replaced, or use is continued or condition imposed, it may serve a notice on the owner or occupier. It must invite observations and submissions. It must take account of the observations and submissions in deciding whether to confirm the notice. It must have regard to the development plan and provisions of any special designations.
There is provision for an appeal to An Bord Pleanála against a notice. This must be done within eight weeks. Bord Pleanala may vary, revoke or confirm the order.
The notice is entered on the planning register. Failure to comply with the notice is an offence. It may be subject, on summary conviction of a fine up to €1970 or six months’ imprisonment or both. It is a continuing offence for each day of non-compliance, with a possible continuing fine of up to [€500]£400 per day.
If the required works are not done, the planning authority may undertake the works. It may enter the structure for this purpose.
Compensation is payable if the value of a person’s interest in the land is reduced by reason of the notice or if he suffers damage or disturbance in the enjoyment of land. The authority is to pay expenses reasonably incurred in demolition, removal, alteration and replacement as required by a notice.
The planning authority may serve a notice requiring repair or tidying of an advertising structure. This may be done, where it appears in the interest of safety or amenity that the structure should be repaired or tidied. Where an advertising structure is derelict, the planning authority may serve a notice requiring its removal. This requires removal within the designated period.
Quarries have long raised unique issues under planning legislation. Questions arise as to whether the intensification of use of pre-1964 quarries required planning permission. On account of uncertainty and the significance in terms of impact on the environment and the economic interests of the owners of the land, special provisions were introduced for the control of quarries in planning legislation.
The owners and occupiers of quarries were required to register with the planning authority and to provide information regarding the extent of the use, traffic generated, hours of quarrying, levels of noise and other matters, by the end of April 2005. The planning authority could impose terms and conditions on a quarry, even one operating since prior to 1st October 1964.
Where the quarry is over five hectares or situate on a European site and commenced operations before 1st October 1964, it may be required to obtain planning permission, if it is likely to have significant effects on the environment. The planning authority may impose terms and conditions on a quarry, even one operating since prior to 1st October 1964.
The planning authority may change and modify the conditions under an existing planning permission. It may impose additional conditions. There is a right to appeal to Bord Pleanála against the imposition of conditions. The general time limits for enforcement do not apply to quarries.
Compensation may be made where the conditions of an existing planning permission are modified. Certain conditions such as those relating to noise, reinstatement of land and the prevention of emissions, do not qualify for compensation. There is no provision for compensation for pre 1st October 1964 quarries, which do not have a grant of planning permission.
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