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Who enforces Bord Pleanala decisions regarding infrastructure?

  • 23-05-2014 5:59pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 ✭✭✭

    A thread about Galway City Council's Mutton Island Waste Water Treatment Plant got me wondering: who enforces Bord Pleanala orders with regard to such infrastructure?

    ABP imposed a number of conditions when granting approval for an upgrade of Mutton Island WWTP in 2007, just a few years after it commenced operation.

    Councils are Planning Authorities with a statutory responsibility to ensure compliance with ABP conditions. However, Galway City Council is also the applicant in the case of Mutton Island WWTP (and indeed other infrastructure). The Environmental Protection Agency has no role at all in relation to planning approval, even where the infrastructure involves discharges to the environment. An Bord Pleanála does not enforce its own orders.

    So, in relation to infrastructure, what statutory oversight process is in place with regard to planning compliance, and what statutory body is tasked with enforcing such compliance?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,779 ✭✭✭Carawaystick

    I pretty much asked them that last night, in relation to changes to road developments made during construction. I'll see if they reply and post here.
    I was asking them about them approving plans which were dangerous and the roads authority making changes to make it safer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,091 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    In theory, it would be for the council's planning department enforce against the drainage / roads or other department.

    However, Irish Water is now in charge of waste water treatment, so the council would enforce against them.

    Potentially some serious bullet dodging going on.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 ✭✭✭Iwannahurl

    You've just thrown me a curve ball, as they might say in the States.

    AFAIK Irish Water have taken ownership and management responsibility of "water assets", which would include WWTPs presumably.

    Local Authorities, under the terms of Service Level Agreements, continue to be responsible for local operations.

    Clause refers to demarcation: "The Local Authority will maintain appropriate demarcation between the Local Authority planning function and the Services."

    So does this mean that Local Authorities can revert to being Planning Authorities for the purposes of enforcing compliance with Bord Pleanala conditions pertaining to waste water treatment infrastructure?

    In other words, is there enough separation between Local Authorities and Irish Water so that Councils can police the new utility as opposed to policing themselves?

    Or is the new arrangement an even worse mess than the old one, in terms of infrastructural planning enforcement by Local Authorities?

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,091 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    As Irish Water will have to fund any work done, it will essentially cost the councils nothing to enforce conditions.

    In that regard. maybe conditions will actually be met.