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Nimbys and serial objectors

  • 12-12-2017 9:07am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    We are especially worried about potential dangers to our water supply due to the proximity of our local water aquifer to the proposed development

    http://www.thejournal.ie/solar-farm-laois-ireland-3-3739967-Dec2017/

    So far this year, 33 ABP decisions have gone to judicial review, several taken by the same individuals, who seem to view the High Court as a routine extension of the planning system. If the Government really wants to fast-track data centres, it must find a way of discouraging lengthy judicial reviews

    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/strategic-infrastructure-quick-step-would-not-have-saved-apple-s-project-1.3282073?mode=amp

    What can do done to fix the planning issues in Ireland. Projects such as the Apple data centre, Merrion gates removal and others have been delayed for years and years often coming out the far side barely unchanged from the original plan?

    We've a lot of big ticket items on the agenda and we can't afford to wait 10 years for MN while someone who doesn't even live in the affected area objects.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,126 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha


    I would have no problems with objectors, people are legally entitled to object and the process must facilitate that or we would end up with developers throwing up all kinds of crap.

    The planning problem lies in how long it takes the State agencies to do their job. A planning proposal which is objected to and appealed can take the Council and An Bord Pleanala 1.5-2.5 years to process, that is where the problems lie. It should be more like 8 weeks for the Council to make a ruling and max. another 12 if it is appealed to ABP.

    But instead it is just a massively drawn out process that allows public servants to push paper around the place without making any decisions. Mate of mine got planning permission recently for a house, it took 15 months and the Council called him and his architect back six times over that period for more information. They literally had them running around the houses for stuff that could have easily been asked for upfront.Insane stuff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,729 ✭✭✭ plodder


    Personally, I think the planning system is ok. It's when the courts get involved that the real problems start, eg the Apple data centre....


  • Registered Users Posts: 548 ✭✭✭ sdevine89


    plodder wrote: »
    Personally, I think the planning system is ok. It's when the courts get involved that the real problems start, eg the Apple data centre....

    You realise it is the dysfunction of the planning system and the procedure regarding objectors that is leading to the Courts being involved. The Courts aren't becoming involved of their own volition.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,057 ✭✭✭✭ Water John


    Don't have a ref but one of the latest twists is, the king's highway. Have Govn't and LA the power to grant companies a road opening licence? If you own a field, you also own half the road, next to it. Being used to hold up Renewable Energy Projects that have passed all other planning loops.

    We really need a specific time frame. some of these go on for years. Objectors, some for commercial reasons, know this and actually use the time it takes to cripple a project even when they know they have a very slim chance of it being found, in their favour.

    WTF has an aquifer got to do with a solar farm?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,729 ✭✭✭ plodder


    sdevine89 wrote: »
    You realise it is the dysfunction of the planning system and the procedure regarding objectors that is leading to the Courts being involved. The Courts aren't becoming involved of their own volition.
    The only dysfunctional thing about the Apple case, was the objectors lost, but they succeeded in delaying and possibly scuppering it completely.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    plodder wrote: »
    The only dysfunctional thing about the Apple case, was the objectors lost, but they succeeded in delaying and possibly scuppering it completely.

    This is the exact issue i'm referring too. You shouldn't be allowed to whinge so long that legitimate infrastructure which is in the national interest gets delayed forever.
    From the point of view of those who oppose wind farm development in their areas the general approach appears to be one of sustained attrition in the hope that eventually plans are abandoned.

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/analysis/wind-farm-forced-to-take-the-long-road-461158.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Water John wrote: »
    Don't have a ref but one of the latest twists is, the king's highway. Have Govn't and LA the power to grant companies a road opening licence?

    This is where the King’s Highway comes in. The group is submitting that consent is required from the landowners adjoining the road to undertake any works below surface level.
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/analysis/wind-farm-forced-to-take-the-long-road-461158.html

    I mean Jesus wept.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,418 ✭✭✭ Wheety


    I find that a lot of people giving out about objectors don't live in the area themselves and have no major planning applications going on in their own area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 834 ✭✭✭ mikep


    I think the whole system needs review and if possible consolidation where planning and EPA licences are required for projects as at the moment objectors can object to planning decisions thus adding to the length of the planning process and where a licence from the EPA is required they can object using the same objections, as will be demonstrated if the incinerator in Cork gets planning


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Wheety wrote: »
    I find that a lot of people giving out about objectors don't live in the area themselves and have no major planning applications going on in their own area.

    Most people living in the cities and major towns will have had a major planning application at some stage or an other. There use to be a barn and fields 5 minutes walk from my house in North Dublin , now it's housing for miles.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭ Middle Man


    http://www.thejournal.ie/solar-farm-laois-ireland-3-3739967-Dec2017/




    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/strategic-infrastructure-quick-step-would-not-have-saved-apple-s-project-1.3282073?mode=amp

    What can do done to fix the planning issues in Ireland. Projects such as the Apple data centre, Merrion gates removal and others have been delayed for years and years often coming out the far side barely unchanged from the original plan?

    We've a lot of big ticket items on the agenda and we can't afford to wait 10 years for MN while someone who doesn't even live in the affected area objects.
    Well one thing - serial objectors frequently leave a pattern in their behaviour. There should be a provision in the law that allows the state to initiate legal proceedings against such interests with a view the recouping lost tax revenue as a result of infrastructural delays - ditto to state expenses resulting from infrastructural delays - for example, permanent injuries resulting from road traffic accidents along 'unfit for purpose' roads in the period of operational time lag caused by serial objections.

    For obstructions caused by 'NIMBYism', if it is established that any local interest group has mounted a disproportionately robust legal campaign due to financial circumstances of a highly advantageous nature, provisions for the recouping of lost tax revenue and incurred expenses (from resultant delays in infrastructural provision) should also be considered. It is also important to note that for any new residents moving into a particular area, it should be up to those people to check for any infrastructural proposals in the said area. Legal provisions should allow local authorities to dismiss any objections from such parties to any new infrastructure that is laid out in a development plan/policy document predating the signing of any transfer of freehold title pertaining to residential property.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,057 ✭✭✭✭ Water John


    Yes, that is a particular bugbear. Seen people buying a house where planning was already given, becoming leaders in the objection group.


  • Registered Users Posts: 834 ✭✭✭ mikep


    Middle Man wrote: »
    http://www.thejournal.ie/solar-farm-laois-ireland-3-3739967-Dec2017/




    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/strategic-infrastructure-quick-step-would-not-have-saved-apple-s-project-1.3282073?mode=amp

    What can do done to fix the planning issues in Ireland. Projects such as the Apple data centre, Merrion gates removal and others have been delayed for years and years often coming out the far side barely unchanged from the original plan?

    We've a lot of big ticket items on the agenda and we can't afford to wait 10 years for MN while someone who doesn't even live in the affected area objects.
    Well one thing - serial objectors frequently leave a pattern in their behaviour.  There should be a provision in the law that allows the state to initiate legal proceedings against such interests with a view the recouping lost tax revenue as a result of infrastructural delays - ditto to state expenses resulting from infrastructural delays - for example, permanent injuries resulting from road traffic accidents along 'unfit for purpose' roads in the period of operational time lag caused by serial objections.  

    For obstructions caused by 'NIMBYism', if it is established that any local interest group has mounted a disproportionately robust legal campaign due to financial circumstances of a highly advantageous nature, provisions for the recouping of lost tax revenue and incurred expenses (from resultant delays in infrastructural provision) should also be considered.  It is also important to note that for any new residents moving into a particular area, it should be up to those people to check for any infrastructural proposals in the said area.  Legal provisions should allow local authorities to dismiss any objections from such parties to any new infrastructure that is laid out in a development plan/policy document predating the signing of any transfer of freehold title pertaining to residential property.
    That's a good suggestion as planners (and homebuyers) need to consider the current situation when making planning decisions and not expect established facilities modify their operations due to poorly located residential developments..


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,786 ✭✭✭ wakka12


    Wheety wrote: »
    I find that a lot of people giving out about objectors don't live in the area themselves and have no major planning applications going on in their own area.

    Partly true. But it does need serious review, it could be the most ridiculous objection in the world yet if its made, no matter who or for whatever reason, it will 100% slow up the project development by several months and cost the develop money unnecessarily.
    For instance the central bank development in temple bar is now being delayed because some tool with a city centre apartment felt this development will affect the privacy of his roof top garden.
    You're not entitled to privacy on a roof top garden in the busiest part of a capital city.
    There should be an initial very quick review to gauge whether the objection has any validity. This objection for instance should in no way have delayed the central bank development as its completely mindless and ridiclous


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,131 ✭✭✭✭ DaCor


    wakka12 wrote: »
    Partly true. But it does need serious review, it could be the most ridiculous objection in the world yet if its made, no matter who or for whatever reason, it will 100% slow up the project development by several months and cost the develop money unnecessarily.
    For instance the central bank development in temple bar is now being delayed because some tool with a city centre apartment felt this development will affect the privacy of his roof top garden.
    You're not entitled to privacy on a roof top garden in the busiest part of a capital city.
    There should be an initial very quick review to gauge whether the objection has any validity. This objection for instance should in no way have delayed the central bank development as its completely mindless and ridiclous

    Nice idea, but the whole point of the process is that every single objection is reviewed the same. To do otherwise would open the process up to corruption, and an unholy amount of appeals for objections who disagree with the initial assessment, which would only result in further delays


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭ Middle Man


    DaCor wrote: »
    Nice idea, but the whole point of the process is that every single objection is reviewed the same. To do otherwise would open the process up to corruption, and an unholy amount of appeals for objections who disagree with the initial assessment, which would only result in further delays
    I think what wakka12 is saying is to have a preliminary assessment routine for objections in similar fashion to the triage system in hospitals. Perhaps an assigned assessment panel could be continually renewed on a random basis in order to avoid corruption.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,729 ✭✭✭ plodder


    wakka12 wrote: »
    Partly true. But it does need serious review, it could be the most ridiculous objection in the world yet if its made, no matter who or for whatever reason, it will 100% slow up the project development by several months and cost the develop money unnecessarily.
    For instance the central bank development in temple bar is now being delayed because some tool with a city centre apartment felt this development will affect the privacy of his roof top garden.
    You're not entitled to privacy on a roof top garden in the busiest part of a capital city.
    There should be an initial very quick review to gauge whether the objection has any validity. This objection for instance should in no way have delayed the central bank development as its completely mindless and ridiclous
    The problem is that no matter how absurd the grounds for appeal are, the whole application has to be considered afresh. There probably should be some kind of two track system, where in some cases, only the grounds for appeal are looked at.

    Even then if you haven't delayed it for long enough, you can look for a judicial review, which should delay it for another year at least, which like in the Apple case, may well be enough to torpedo the project whether you have any chance of winning the case or not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,667 ✭✭✭ exaisle


    plodder wrote: »
    The problem is that no matter how absurd the grounds for appeal are, the whole application has to be considered afresh. There probably should be some kind of two track system, where in some cases, only the grounds for appeal are looked at.

    Even then if you haven't delayed it for long enough, you can look for a judicial review, which should delay it for another year at least, which like in the Apple case, may well be enough to torpedo the project whether you have any chance of winning the case or not.

    Couple of observations....

    Aside from acknowledging objections made to them, am I correct in thinking that Local Authorities do not have to take objections/observations into account as each planning application has to be dealt with objectively on its own merits.

    Under Section 138 of the 2000 Planning Act, ABP is empowered to dismiss appeals where it views objections as being frivolous, vexations, without foundation, or with the intention of delaying the development. I'm not sure how often this has been used, or indeed, whether it has ever been used. If not, then maybe it's about time that it was.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    exaisle wrote: »
    Couple of observations....

    Aside from acknowledging objections made to them, am I correct in thinking that Local Authorities do not have to take objections/observations into account as each planning application has to be dealt with objectively on its own merits.

    Under Section 138 of the 2000 Planning Act, ABP is empowered to dismiss appeals where it views objections as being frivolous, vexations, without foundation, or with the intention of delaying the development. I'm not sure how often this has been used, or indeed, whether it has ever been used. If not, then maybe it's about time that it was.

    The issue is most likely it's quicker for the council to consider it. If they dismiss it then it's high court time again and the objectors are winning.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,729 ✭✭✭ plodder


    exaisle wrote: »
    Couple of observations....

    Aside from acknowledging objections made to them, am I correct in thinking that Local Authorities do not have to take objections/observations into account as each planning application has to be dealt with objectively on its own merits.
    objectively on its own merits, and within the framework of any relevant statutory plans/guidelines. If an objection points out where an application contravened a development plan, they they'd have to consider that.
    Under Section 138 of the 2000 Planning Act, ABP is empowered to dismiss appeals where it views objections as being frivolous, vexations, without foundation, or with the intention of delaying the development. I'm not sure how often this has been used, or indeed, whether it has ever been used. If not, then maybe it's about time that it was.
    Hard to draw a line between what's frivolous, and sincere but clearly wrong. ABP will err on the cautious side imo with the courts looking over their shoulder. That's why I think you need to look at the whole question of re-examining the application from scratch in all cases.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,131 ✭✭✭✭ DaCor


    exaisle wrote: »

    Under Section 138 of the 2000 Planning Act, ABP is empowered to dismiss appeals where it views objections as being frivolous, vexations, without foundation, or with the intention of delaying the development. I'm not sure how often this has been used, or indeed, whether it has ever been used. If not, then maybe it's about time that it was.


    Wouldn't apply to Daly's objection. He is rightly objecting on environmental issues that have not been properly considered.

    This data center will never be built and here's why...

    Apple thought they were being smart by splitting the whole thing into loads of small planning applications. This meant that the environmental considerations were only made on one DC building. This is the exact thing Daly's objecting to. That the energy consumption and the implications of such, be considered for the entire project.

    Now here's Apples problem. If they go ahead, they will build a single DC. If they want more, 8 planned according to the site drawings, they have to submit additional applications for planning approval. Guess what, the same objection holds true if the entire project is not assessed.

    If it is assessed in full, it won't stand up against environmental concerns and will not receive permission.

    The Supreme Court will need to tread carefully with his appeal. I honestly hope that this ends up going to the European Courts. They will likely hand down a judgement forcing these developments to be assessed in full, across the EU, thereby driving improvements in energy efficiency, cooling, etc etc. All round, a win for everyone, environmentally speaking

    Well done Mr Daly, I applaud you sir :)

    I would encourage all of you to read the actual objection in detail before slinging mud. These are valid concerns, which will impact energy generation, grid capacity etc etc etc for a generation to come and should not be dismissed lightly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,057 ✭✭✭✭ Water John


    So, your argument is, a company building a number of Wind Farms around the country should now be forced to bundle them all into one planning application.
    I presume the logical follow on being, that would be Strategic Infrastructure and go straight to ABP and not LAs.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 33,818 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Seth Brundle


    wakka12 wrote: »
    You're not entitled to privacy on a roof top garden in the busiest part of a capital city.
    There should be an initial very quick review to gauge whether the objection has any validity. This objection for instance should in no way have delayed the central bank development as its completely mindless and ridiclous
    So where are you entitled to privacy?
    Is anyone in a city entitled to privacy on their own property?
    Just because you have no problem with a development should not rule out others having one.
    As for the delays, these are not the fault of the objector. If the developer factored residents in when designing the development it may have been avoided but far too often developers only see the small picture and have no interest in anything else.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,131 ✭✭✭✭ DaCor


    Water John wrote: »
    So, your argument is, a company building a number of Wind Farms around the country should now be forced to bundle them all into one planning application..

    You have added 1 and 1 and gotten 3


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,057 ✭✭✭✭ Water John


    Not in the least. Your arguing, on the demand side, I'm parralleling the supply side. They mirror each other, remarkably.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,786 ✭✭✭ wakka12


    kbannon wrote: »
    So where are you entitled to privacy?
    Is anyone in a city entitled to privacy on their own property?
    Just because you have no problem with a development should not rule out others having one.
    As for the delays, these are not the fault of the objector. If the developer factored residents in when designing the development it may have been avoided but far too often developers only see the small picture and have no interest in anything else.
    You are not entitled to privacy in an outdoor elevated space in the busiest part of the CBD of a capital city. I think that much we can all agree on.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 33,818 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Seth Brundle


    wakka12 wrote: »
    You are not entitled to privacy in an outdoor elevated space in the busiest part of the CBD of a capital city. I think that much we can all agree on.
    Says who?
    Define the boundaries to who can have privacy and who can't as I can't find it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,786 ✭✭✭ wakka12


    kbannon wrote: »
    Says who?
    Define the boundaries to who can have privacy and who can't as I can't find it.

    Some things are not definable . Like what a garda might consider loud and disorderly behaviour or something .
    Privacy to that extent is not possible in such a densely populated city centre area, especially considering the building is already built. Its not like its a new building being built beside his garden.

    Anyway this is irrelevant as his objection will be completely discarded and not have any effect on the project as its ridiculous. Whats more ridiculous is that his ridiculous complaint is allowed to delay the project by any amount of time


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 33,818 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Seth Brundle


    wakka12 wrote: »
    Some things are not definable . Like what a garda might consider loud and disorderly behaviour or something .
    Privacy to that extent is not possible in such a densely populated city centre area, especially considering the building is already built. Its not like its a new building being built beside his garden.

    Anyway this is irrelevant as his objection will be completely discarded and not have any effect on the project as its ridiculous. Whats more ridiculous is that his ridiculous complaint is allowed to delay the project by any amount of time
    It's not irrelevant.
    The planning laws are there for everyone to be able to use.
    In the case if the central bank, the use if the building is changing significantly and the objectors property is affected. Of course he should be allowed a voice.
    Under your suggestion, should we ban curtains and darkened glass for all city centre buildings also?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,786 ✭✭✭ wakka12


    kbannon wrote: »
    It's not irrelevant.
    The planning laws are there for everyone to be able to use.
    In the case if the central bank, the use if the building is changing significantly and the objectors property is affected. Of course he should be allowed a voice.
    Under your suggestion, should we ban curtains and darkened glass for all city centre buildings also?

    I never said he shouldn't be able to voice his opinion. I said there should be a preliminary filtering to get rid of such ridiclous objections so that they do not delay the project significantly.


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