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Planning issues - post them here MOD WARNING post #1

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7 trebuchet


    After submitting two planning applications for a much needed childcare facility in our area, we were finally given planning permission for it. The facility will comprise of an addition to an existing premisis. However, one of the conditions attached means that we can't build it until the wastewater treatment in the area has been upgraded (the facility will have one new toilet). This probably means that the planning permission will expire before the facility can be built. Is there anyway of getting planning conditions reviwed/amended without going to An Bord Pleanala?


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,138 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    trebuchet wrote: »
    After submitting two planning applications for a much needed childcare facility in our area, we were finally given planning permission for it. The facility will comprise of an addition to an existing premisis. However, one of the conditions attached means that we can't build it until the wastewater treatment in the area has been upgraded (the facility will have one new toilet). This probably means that the planning permission will expire before the facility can be built. Is there anyway of getting planning conditions reviwed/amended without going to An Bord Pleanala?

    yes, you can make an application to remove a condition of planning, much the same as making a normal application.

    But there are other methods.
    Perhaps write to the council asking for a 'temporary connection' to the existing system.... i have seen this granted by a simple letter.

    But the first thing you need to do is consult withthe council as to how to overcome this.

    Taking soley what you have posted, this is an entirely stupid condition.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7 trebuchet


    Thanks for replying, it is as it appears. Indeed to make matters worse, funding is available Pobal should we be in a position to build. We did extensive consultation with the council during our submissions and now we haven't a clue what's going to happen!


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    trebuchet wrote: »
    After submitting two planning applications for a much needed childcare facility in our area, we were finally given planning permission for it. The facility will comprise of an addition to an existing premisis. However, one of the conditions attached means that we can't build it until the wastewater treatment in the area has been upgraded (the facility will have one new toilet). This probably means that the planning permission will expire before the facility can be built. Is there anyway of getting planning conditions reviwed/amended without going to An Bord Pleanala?
    Yeah as sydthebeat said it can be sorted at times by putting a letter into them. You need to state the reasons obviously but in essence what you will be looking for is a temporary relaxation of a planning condition. Maybe get your local councillor(s) on board also.

    A separate planning application can be made of course but I would try the letter first. A certain amount of help is generally given by the planners to facilitate projects that are community driven or where the community will benefit from it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7 trebuchet


    Thanks for replying, is there a section in the planning acts on this that I can look up?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭fitzie79


    After what seemed like an eternity waiting all week for news of our planning application we got the letter yesterday. We got good news and bad news - good news in that we are allowed to build on the site and have met all the local needs requirements but bad news in that the type of house we submitted has been refused. We have been told to re-submit the planning application with "revised house type of a single story dwelling only" (our previous application was for a story and a half).

    Does this mean that we have to build a bungalow only? Ideally we would like a 1.5 story but a dormer would be at least a bit better than a bungalow. There are 3 houses next to us currently, two of which are bungalows and one is a dormer. Also, in the surrounding area there are many other new houses in equally prominent positions that are a mix of 1.5 stories and dormers. Is it worth setting up a meeting with the local council and arguing this point with them or once they have made a statement like above does it mean that there is no changing their mind. I would have no problem being forced to build a bungalow if i felt that the rule was being applied consistently.

    Finally, my understanding is that 1.5 story houses are more energy efficient that bungalows in that heat escaping from downstairs is "re-used" in the bedroom area. Do the local planners have any obligation to take "green" issues such as this or the use of glass on the south facing side of the house into consideration when they are looking at planning applications.

    (ps Sorry for the long winded post)


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    fitzie79 wrote: »
    After what seemed like an eternity waiting all week for news of our planning application we got the letter yesterday. We got good news and bad news - good news in that we are allowed to build on the site and have met all the local needs requirements but bad news in that the type of house we submitted has been refused. We have been told to re-submit the planning application with "revised house type of a single story dwelling only" (our previous application was for a story and a half).

    Does this mean that we have to build a bungalow only? Ideally we would like a 1.5 story but a dormer would be at least a bit better than a bungalow. There are 3 houses next to us currently, two of which are bungalows and one is a dormer. Also, in the surrounding area there are many other new houses in equally prominent positions that are a mix of 1.5 stories and dormers. Is it worth setting up a meeting with the local council and arguing this point with them or once they have made a statement like above does it mean that there is no changing their mind. I would have no problem being forced to build a bungalow if i felt that the rule was being applied consistently.

    Finally, my understanding is that 1.5 story houses are more energy efficient that bungalows in that heat escaping from downstairs is "re-used" in the bedroom area. Do the local planners have any obligation to take "green" issues such as this or the use of glass on the south facing side of the house into consideration when they are looking at planning applications.

    (ps Sorry for the long winded post)
    My advice would be to take photos of the houses in the area and number them 1, 2, 3 etc etc and then get a map and plot the house numbers on the map. Arrange a meeting with the planner and thrash this point out and the photos and map will lend some credence to your side of things. Maybe alo indicate that you need 4 bedrooms and that a long sprawling type bungalow would be out of character with the area. If possible get your agent and/or the local councillor to attend the meeting with you.

    The planners arent really concerned with any other issues other than the planning aspects. Just out of curiosity did you apply specifically for a 1.5 storey house?

    Good luck with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭fitzie79


    hi muffler,

    thanks for the advice - putting all the houses in the locality on a map like that is a good idea.

    We specifically applied for a 1.5 storey house alright - was conscious that the house is reasonably high up so felt that a 2 storey house would be too much for the site. We had heard that the local council (Cork county) were trying to get away from the 80's style bungalows and more towards the old country house style but apprently not!


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    fitzie79 wrote: »
    hi muffler,

    thanks for the advice - putting all the houses in the locality on a map like that is a good idea.

    We specifically applied for a 1.5 storey house alright - was conscious that the house is reasonably high up so felt that a 2 storey house would be too much for the site. We had heard that the local council (Cork county) were trying to get away from the 80's style bungalows and more towards the old country house style but apprently not!
    No problem fitzie. The idea of putting the photos and map together is to illustrate (hopefully) that a precedent has been established for a particular type of house in that area.

    I always find that in applying for planning permission its better to apply for "a dwelling house" as opposed to specifying a 1.5, dormer or 2 storied dwelling house. That way it allows the planners (if they are willing to do so) to request a revised house design within the same application rather than refuse it with a footnote indicating that they would look favourably on another application for a different design.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭archtech


    fitzie79 wrote: »
    We specifically applied for a 1.5 storey house alright - was conscious that the house is reasonably high up so felt that a 2 storey house would be too much for the site. We had heard that the local council (Cork county) were trying to get away from the 80's style bungalows and more towards the old country house style but apprently not!

    A lot comes down to the actual house design, too. Your storey and half could have been quiet bulky, and the ridge height could have been quiet high. Maybe a narrower depth plan might suit. It would definitely be worth while in this case talking to the planner and teasing out things a bit further, now that they have actually had visited the site prior to making the decision. I assume you have looked at Cork's Rural Design Guide
    I always find that in applying for planning permission its better to apply for "a dwelling house" as opposed to specifying a 1.5, dormer or 2 storied dwelling house. That way it allows the planners (if they are willing to do so) to request a revised house design within the same application rather than refuse it with a footnote indicating that they would look favourably on another application for a different design.

    Normally I would agree with you there, however, particularly if applying for outline permission and someone was set on a specific type, (normally two storey) I would advise that, that application be made for two storey, at least that way when it comes to designing the house and applying for consent one can rule in out the desired house type.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    archtech wrote: »
    Normally I would agree with you there, however, particularly if applying for outline permission and someone was set on a specific type, (normally two storey) I would advise that, that application be made for two storey, at least that way when it comes to designing the house and applying for consent one can rule in out the desired house type.
    In this particular instance the OP had applied for full planning permission for a 1.5 storey dwelling house and now has to reapply at more expense for a revised house. An application for a dwelling house without specifying the type would have saved a small bit of expense but a large piece of time.

    I cant speak for other parts of the country but when applying for outline permission in Donegal I would still use the same methodology. If outline pp is granted then the planners will put a condition in specifying the type of house that should be applied for when making the application for permission consequent.

    I take your point concerning a client looking for a specific type of house but whether it be outline or full permission being applied for the planners hands are tied if they are not happy with that particular design. They have no option but refuse it in the circumstances.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭archtech


    muffler wrote: »
    An application for a dwelling house without specifying the type would have saved a small bit of expense but a large piece of time.

    There is also the option of the planning authority requesting Further Information to submit a revised house style and the application advertised as significant further information, which would save everyone a lot of hassle, where the original house design addresses the general principals of the planning authorities rural design guidelines, ie right type of house except wrong site in the opinion of the planner.

    Regarding beginning specific on house type, I know of one Planning Authority, who will invalid the planning application if the type of house isn't specified in the application description, describing the development as "dwelling house" isn't specific in their view. Basically it comes down to knowing what the relevant Planning Authority will or will not accept as a valid planning application. One of the many interpreted inconsistencies by Planning Authorities of the regulations.

    As I suggested to the op in my previous post , s/he should talk to the planner before re-submitting.There maybe other issues, which weren't given as part of the refusal.It would be terrible to redesign the house and have the application refused on other grounds.... Has happened !!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    archtech wrote: »
    There is also the option of the planning authority requesting Further Information to submit a revised house style and the application advertised as significant further information, which would save everyone a lot of hassle, where the original house design addresses the general principals of the planning authorities rural design guidelines, ie right type of house except wrong site in the opinion of the planner.
    Yeah, thats what I was referring to.
    archtech wrote: »
    Regarding beginning specific on house type, I know of one Planning Authority, who will invalid the planning application if the type of house isn't specified in the application description, describing the development as "dwelling house" isn't specific in their view. Basically it comes down to knowing what the relevant Planning Authority will or will not accept as a valid planning application. One of the many interpreted inconsistencies by Planning Authorities of the regulations.
    That doesnt surprise me in the least. The planning regs dont state one way or the other so therefore it is down to different interpretations by different Planning Authorities.
    archtech wrote: »
    As I suggested to the op in my previous post , s/he should talk to the planner before re-submitting.There maybe other issues, which weren't given as part of the refusal.It would be terrible to redesign the house and have the application refused on other grounds.... Has happened !!!
    Hopefully a pre planning meeting will sort out any other outstanding issues but then again if there were other issues they should have been included in the refusal - but hey - thats the joys of planning :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭fitzie79


    hi muffler/archtech - thanks for your feedback. I used the wrong terminology in my initial post - the planning application is at the further information stage - they have taken the option of requesting that a revised house style is submitted (rather than resubmitting planning) which at least means we aren't starting from scratch

    Definately plan to meet with them before doing up new plans to see what they would find acceptable in terms of ridge height as I would like to make some of the upstairs area useable living area. Would be important as you specify that we ensure there are no other issues as well.

    One last question - for now anyway :) - our application is in the name of my finacee as we are building on her home land - but i am doing most of the dealing with the engineer etc. Would I be entitled to attend the meeting in addition to the engineer and my fiancee?


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,676 ✭✭✭✭smashey


    fitzie79 wrote: »
    One last question - for now anyway :) - our application is in the name of my finacee as we are building on her home land - but i am doing most of the dealing with the engineer etc. Would I be entitled to attend the meeting in addition to the engineer and my fiancee?
    Yes. I recently had a meeting with the planners and my client's fiancee attended as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    fitzie79 wrote: »
    We have been told to re-submit the planning application with "revised house type of a single story dwelling only" (our previous application was for a story and a half).
    fitzie79 wrote: »
    hi muffler/archtech - thanks for your feedback. I used the wrong terminology in my initial post - the planning application is at the further information stage - they have taken the option of requesting that a revised house style is submitted (rather than resubmitting planning) which at least means we aren't starting from scratch
    Yeah you should have clarified that at was on FI rather than a refusal which we had naturally assumed. No harm done though.


    fitzie79 wrote: »
    One last question - for now anyway :) - our application is in the name of my finacee as we are building on her home land - but i am doing most of the dealing with the engineer etc. Would I be entitled to attend the meeting in addition to the engineer and my fiancee?
    As smashey said you can of course attend any meeting. I dont think any development plan was put in place so as to ensure that local girls married local guys :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭fitzie79


    we've been trying to contact the planning office for the past few days and are finding a frustrating experience to say the least. They will only accept calls from the public between 9.30 and 10.30 in the morning on monday and wednesday mornings - needless to say it's nigh impossible to talk to them as everyone is trying to get through at the same time. We had to leave a voicemail on monday but only got a response on wednesday. Is this standard across the country?

    When we have gotten through it has been futile. The planner refused to meet us to discuss the application so I am unable to make the point about all the other houses in the locality that are 1.5 story. After a lot of pressure she has now reluctantly agreed to meet our architect on his own, but only to discuss the single story option. We have sent her an email with the phone number of our engineer but after two days there has been no response - it seems like maybe between the hours of 9.30 and 10.30 next monday is our only chance....

    Is there anything else that we could try doing? I am beginning to understand the frustrations that a lot of people have had in dealing with planning :mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭archtech


    fitzie79 wrote: »
    Is there anything else that we could try doing?


    As much as I hate advising it but get onto your local councilor, s/he may have a bit more success.
    I am beginning to understand the frustrations that a lot of people have had in dealing with planning

    Try having to deal with the planning departments for a living !!!! Thankfully not all are the same


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    fitzie79 wrote: »
    After a lot of pressure she has now reluctantly agreed to meet our architect on his own, but only to discuss the single story option.
    You could send her another email and remind of her responsibility under Section 247 of the 2000 Planning & Development Act 2000 to enter into consultation with a person who has an interest in the land and intends to make a planning application.


    Edit: Ooops you have already made an application. The above would not apply so. But still its poor form if she wont discuss it with yourselves. As suggested get your local councillor involved.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 320 ✭✭tulipandthistle


    ??? What's that all about? Surely a septic tank is a neccessity to a dwelling? Is it normal to turn down the first application? Seems to happen a lot here in Leitrim.

    We are renovating our shell of a cottage that has 0.75 acre on it too. We are going through the process of applying again....... Is there a special type / brand of septic tank we have to buy? Or can we get one from Britain and ship it over?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,676 ✭✭✭✭smashey


    ??? What's that all about? Surely a septic tank is a neccessity to a dwelling? Is it normal to turn down the first application? Seems to happen a lot here in Leitrim.

    We are renovating our shell of a cottage that has 0.75 acre on it too. We are going through the process of applying again....... Is there a special type / brand of septic tank we have to buy? Or can we get one from Britain and ship it over?
    The good old fashioned septic tank is out of favour now. You'll have to get a site assessment done and install a puraflo/envirocare system or whatever is recommended by the assessor.

    /edit. You're agent should have known this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    ??? What's that all about? Surely a septic tank is a neccessity to a dwelling? Is it normal to turn down the first application? Seems to happen a lot here in Leitrim.

    We are renovating our shell of a cottage that has 0.75 acre on it too. We are going through the process of applying again....... Is there a special type / brand of septic tank we have to buy? Or can we get one from Britain and ship it over?
    As smashey said the traditional septic tank as we know it is slowly fading away. They are still approved in certain instances but only when it is recommended on foot of a site assessment and then when the EHO has agreed to it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 320 ✭✭tulipandthistle


    Thanks Smashey and Muffler!

    I'm going to phone the agent straight away! Can't believe he's still going on about septic tanks if they're not in favour anymore.....
    Can we apply for permission ourselves or is it better to go through an agent?


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    Thanks Smashey and Muffler!

    I'm going to phone the agent straight away! Can't believe he's still going on about septic tanks if they're not in favour anymore.....
    Can we apply for permission ourselves or is it better to go through an agent?
    You are always better off using an agent to apply for planning permission unless you are up to speed on the regulations yourself. The agent would typically be the person who prepares the plans, maps etc.

    Part of the planning process now involves getting a site assessment carried out (in advance of the application) to determine the ground conditions and what type of sewage treatment system that would be suitable for those specific ground conditions.

    More often than not a "package" type treatment system will be proposed but there is still the odd time that the conventional septic tank and percolation area are recommended.


  • Registered Users Posts: 842 ✭✭✭daycent


    Hi, just a quick question which might be a bit vague. My girlfriend and I are hoping to get planning for a house behind a cottage that my family own. There is another house already next to the cottage in the same field (high hedge all round it) so my driveway would run between that house and the cottage. In terms of local needs, it is a mile away from where I have lived all my life (girlfriend is from a different county).

    just wondering what the odds are of getting planning and if so, would we be restricted in terms of height of the house?

    P.s. The site is in Cork, about 5 miles from the city. The site is about half an acre.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    daycent wrote: »
    Hi, just a quick question which might be a bit vague. My girlfriend and I are hoping to get planning for a house behind a cottage that my family own. There is another house already next to the cottage in the same field (high hedge all round it) so my driveway would run between that house and the cottage. In terms of local needs, it is a mile away from where I have lived all my life (girlfriend is from a different county).

    just wondering what the odds are of getting planning and if so, would we be restricted in terms of height of the house?

    P.s. The site is in Cork, about 5 miles from the city. The site is about half an acre.
    Different counties have different requirements in relation to local needs so I would advise you to first of all have a look at the Cork County Development Plan and search for a rural housing section in it. That may give you an idea as to what they look for.

    Building behind other houses is always a problem area although it is allowed at times depending on the circumstances. Things to watch out for are loss of residential amenity and possible devaluation of the existing houses, sewage treatment, sub urban type build up etc etc.

    Best thing I think is to request a pre planning meeting with the planners.


  • Registered Users Posts: 842 ✭✭✭daycent


    Cheers. I do know of one or two houses around the area that have been built behind other houses though so fingers crossed. As long as the neighbour doesn't object I suppose, we might have a good chance.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 103 ✭✭wiseolsham


    Out of curiosity, where does one find an agent for planning!


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,868 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    wiseolsham wrote: »
    Out of curiosity, where does one find an agent for planning!
    You rang? ;)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 50 ✭✭Schooby


    Going back a bit in the thread but septic tanks are preferable to everyone council, applicant where the site conditions are suitable the only people who prefer on site waste water treatment systems where a septic tank can work are those who sell them and those who specify them due to a lack of understanding of the processes involved!


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