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Rogue builders face legal ban

Developers who consistently abuse the planning system could be banned from building in Ireland, under legislation being drafted by the minister for the environment. ...The ban on planning retention for developments requiring an EIA was prompted by a judgment by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last July. ...The judgment related to a wind farm at Derrybrien, Co Galway, where the construction of a service road caused a landslide on a blanket bog.

Bill set to give councils right to refuse planning permission

Developers who consistently abuse the planning system could be banned from building in Ireland, under legislation being drafted by the minister for the environment.

The Planning and Development Bill 2009 will give city and county councils the power to refuse planning permission to builders who have carried out unauthorised development, government sources say.

The new regime would impose "punitive fees" on large construction projects applying for planning retention, which allows a developer to keep a structure that was built without permission. It would also outlaw the granting of planning retention to any development requiring an environmental impact assessment (EIA), a move that would prevent more than a dozen unauthorised quarries being legitimised.

The proposals will be brought to cabinet before Easter by John Gormley, the environment minister. "This will be one of the biggest pieces of planning reforms that we have seen in recent decades," a government official promised. "It is not aimed at the guy putting an extension on his house who has gone over his curtilage, but it will have a series of specific measures aimed... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Bill set to give councils right to refuse planning permission

Developers who consistently abuse the planning system could be banned from building in Ireland, under legislation being drafted by the minister for the environment.

The Planning and Development Bill 2009 will give city and county councils the power to refuse planning permission to builders who have carried out unauthorised development, government sources say.

The new regime would impose "punitive fees" on large construction projects applying for planning retention, which allows a developer to keep a structure that was built without permission. It would also outlaw the granting of planning retention to any development requiring an environmental impact assessment (EIA), a move that would prevent more than a dozen unauthorised quarries being legitimised.

The proposals will be brought to cabinet before Easter by John Gormley, the environment minister. "This will be one of the biggest pieces of planning reforms that we have seen in recent decades," a government official promised. "It is not aimed at the guy putting an extension on his house who has gone over his curtilage, but it will have a series of specific measures aimed at tackling rogue developers."

The ban on planning retention for developments requiring an EIA was prompted by a judgment by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last July. The court overturned Irish law that allowed councils and An Bord Pleanala to grant retention for developments that did not meet the EU's directive on EIAs. The judgment related to a wind farm at Derrybrien, Co Galway, where the construction of a service road caused a landslide on a blanket bog.

The law could have implications for Jim Mansfield, the hotelier who secured planning retention permission for a convention centre at City West Hotel in Saggart, Co Dublin, last year. An Bord Pleanala's decision was made after ECJ ruling. The appeals board wrote to Mansfield in September advising that he should take legal advice before he starts building. He has expressed his intention to proceed.

In 2007, Gormley allowed An Bord Pleanala to introduce higher fees for those seeking planning retention for unauthorised developments. The minimum charge for a planning appeal on a commercial development rose from €1,900 to €4,500, and to €9,000 for a retention appeal.

The new law would allow councils to impose six-figure sums on larger developments seeking planning permission by retention.

Planning retention costs €10.80 per square metre of gross floor space, bringing the cost of an application for a typical 100-sq-m retail unit to just over €1,000. These minimum charges for such an application are expected to increase significantly.

The maximum charge for retention application in the Dublin city council stands at €125,000. This applies to only commercial developments above 11,500-sq-m, but this cap is also expected to increase significantly with this year's bill.


Source: http://www.timesonline.co.u...

FEB 8 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18956-rogue-builders-face-legal-ban
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