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It's time to talk about An Bord Pleanala

  • 07-01-2019 7:54pm
    #1
    Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,230 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    An Bord Pleanala have a statutory remit to decide planning appeals within 18 weeks. They had a 79% rate in 2016 of meeting this objective however in 2018 this fell to 38%.

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/business/call-for-an-bord-pleanala-to-tackle-planning-delays-amid-housing-crisis-886304.html

    This will come as no surprise to those who are following this, as An Bord Pleanala have now been saddled with the strategic housing developments and have not been allocated sufficient resources to deal with the extra workload

    Posting this here as it effects both infrastructure and road projects, along with all the others.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatInABox


    Hardly surprising. A massive increase in workload, while the number of staff doing the work stays the same or gets worse, will always result in delays.

    It's not just ABP either, NTA, TII, the courts, everything relating to construction and infrastructure in the country is horrifically under resourced.


  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    Given that investment in Ireland varies so much over the economic cycle, how would you ensure that resources rise and fall in response to demand for their services?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,347 ✭✭✭ stampydmonkey


    Bray Head wrote: »
    Given that investment in Ireland varies so much over the economic cycle, how would you ensure that resources rise and fall in response to demand for their services?

    Do like everyone else....over priced contractors/consultants


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatInABox


    Bray Head wrote: »
    Given that investment in Ireland varies so much over the economic cycle, how would you ensure that resources rise and fall in response to demand for their services?

    Truth be told, I'd be a fan of holding off on major investments until there's a recession, then using those projects to boost the economy during a downturn. It's better than the alternative of austerity during a recession, and better than paying over the odds during a boom. Look at the children's hospital, the price of that is soaring for multiple reasons, but one of those reasons is the cost of construction itself has gone up.

    Anyway, the current level of staffing in some of those departments are so abnormally low that they wouldn't even get ahead of the work in a recession, never mind a boom. They need more staff, regardless.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭ roadmaster


    Well ABP work load will not get any easier when you have NIMBY ministers

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/finian-mcgrath-opposes-385-home-development-in-north-dublin-1.3750505


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 208 ✭✭ jhenno78


    CatInABox wrote: »
    Truth be told, I'd be a fan of holding off on major investments until there's a recession, then using those projects to boost the economy during a downturn. It's better than the alternative of austerity during a recession, and better than paying over the odds during a boom. Look at the children's hospital, the price of that is soaring for multiple reasons, but one of those reasons is the cost of construction itself has gone up.
    You're right about investing during downturns but we've so much to be done that it makes no sense to hold back. In the unlikely event that we had enough political will to drive investment through boom/bust cycles could even get up to 1950's standards within a few decades...


  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    Infrastructure is not really a very good fiscal stimulus. If you want people to spend in a recession, just give them a cheque in the post.

    Infrastructure is also very capital intensive, and we don't make many capital goods in Ireland. A new metro line is very good for makers of trains, TBMs and other systems.

    My own view is that infrastructure investment should be invariant to the economic cycle. This means not rising when times are good, and not falling when times are bad.

    This is very, very difficult to achieve in practice. TAx revenue varies a lot in Ireland over the cycle. Capital spending is relatively easy to ramp up and down in response to revenue compared to something like pension expenditure. So politicians and civil servants understandably don't want to commit to keeping it stable over the cycle.


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatInABox


    Interestingly, Dublin City Council are suing An Bord Pleanala over the rejection of their new plans for pedestrian bridges across the liffey.

    Apparently DCC originally wanted to build bridges at Forbes Street, and Castleforbes Road, and got permission for such, but then wanted to change their location to New Wapping St and (I assume) just next to the East Link bridge. ABP turned around and said that not only should the bridges not be moved, DCC should also build a third bridge, also just next to the East Link bridge (I assume, just from the article), but on the opposite side.

    Kinda astonished that ABP would now require them to add a third bridge, it's no wonder that DCC are suing them. I can also see DCC suing them over the College Green plans eventually, I know that they're going back and making changes based upon the rejection, but if it's rejected again and rejected with the same standard of reasons, then I can DCC seeing the courts as an option.


  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭ mountai


    Applied for PP on site adjacent to my house in established area . Visually looked the same as existing houses but was 4 apartments ( to be used by my children ) . Passed by Council and satisfied all departments , Engineering ,Roads etc. Usual NIMBY objections , however Council gave permission and it was noted on file that my Architect was complimented on design . Appealed to ABP . Inspector for ABP inspector seconded Councils decision and said development should be allowed ( further praise for design) .
    I have no doubt , that because a local TD was one of the objectors , ABP went against the Council and turned it down . My point is , why does ABP go against their own independent inspectors decisions?. Why bother to have them employed in the first place?


  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    mountai wrote: »
    Applied for PP on site adjacent to my house in established area . Visually looked the same as existing houses but was 4 apartments ( to be used by my children ) . Passed by Council and satisfied all departments , Engineering ,Roads etc. Usual NIMBY objections , however Council gave permission and it was noted on file that my Architect was complimented on design . Appealed to ABP . Inspector for ABP inspector seconded Councils decision and said development should be allowed ( further praise for design) .
    I have no doubt , that because a local TD was one of the objectors , ABP went against the Council and turned it down . My point is , why does ABP go against their own independent inspectors decisions?. Why bother to have them employed in the first place?

    It's an independent, deliberative body a bit like a court. The purpose of the inspector's report is that of one input of many.

    You can have your suspicions but I doubt your TD'S objections mattered. Politicians object to everything!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    mountai wrote: »
    Applied for PP on site adjacent to my house in established area . Visually looked the same as existing houses but was 4 apartments ( to be used by my children ) . Passed by Council and satisfied all departments , Engineering ,Roads etc. Usual NIMBY objections , however Council gave permission and it was noted on file that my Architect was complimented on design . Appealed to ABP . Inspector for ABP inspector seconded Councils decision and said development should be allowed ( further praise for design) .
    I have no doubt , that because a local TD was one of the objectors , ABP went against the Council and turned it down . My point is , why does ABP go against their own independent inspectors decisions?. Why bother to have them employed in the first place?

    so have you abandoned this now? if the pathetic councils with their block everything will allow it, how in gods name did abp block it?!


  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭ mountai


    I eventually defeated the NIMBYs . Went through the Planning process again with different proposal . Again got PP from council . , last minute appeal to ABP , in fact the objectors thought they were being clever by delaying until the final day . They miscalculated however and were 16 hours late in lodging appeal so PP went through by default . My point though is , the BP inspector is surely the best judge of such matters. I would expect they have professional qualifications ( open to correction on this) and AFAIK are the only ones to visit sites thus giving them more information than a committee . If they work for the Board and their decisions are ignored , what is the point of their purpose??.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    mountai wrote: »
    I eventually defeated the NIMBYs . Went through the Planning process again with different proposal . Again got PP from council . , last minute appeal to ABP , in fact the objectors thought they were being clever by delaying until the final day . They miscalculated however and were 16 hours late in lodging appeal so PP went through by default . My point though is , the BP inspector is surely the best judge of such matters. I would expect they have professional qualifications ( open to correction on this) and AFAIK are the only ones to visit sites thus giving them more information than a committee . If they work for the Board and their decisions are ignored , what is the point of their purpose??.

    good I am delighted! Typical bloody begrudges that this country is full of! There is a desperate need for housing, glad that you werent screwed over by this banana republic!


  • Registered Users Posts: 405 ✭✭ McAlban


    Yeah, I keep a close eye on planning in Fingal, and most of the appeals to ABP are just re-hashing the same ones submitted to FCC and disregarded by them. The problem is it increases the workload and delays decisions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭ roadmaster


    CatInABox wrote: »
    Interestingly, Dublin City Council are suing An Bord Pleanala over the rejection of their new plans for pedestrian bridges across the liffey.

    Apparently DCC originally wanted to build bridges at Forbes Street, and Castleforbes Road, and got permission for such, but then wanted to change their location to New Wapping St and (I assume) just next to the East Link bridge. ABP turned around and said that not only should the bridges not be moved, DCC should also build a third bridge, also just next to the East Link bridge (I assume, just from the article), but on the opposite side.

    Kinda astonished that ABP would now require them to add a third bridge, it's no wonder that DCC are suing them. I can also see DCC suing them over the College Green plans eventually, I know that they're going back and making changes based upon the rejection, but if it's rejected again and rejected with the same standard of reasons, then I can DCC seeing the courts as an option.

    The only problem with DCC bringing ABP to court is its our money they are playing with and nobody will be held accountable


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,953 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    roadmaster wrote: »
    The only problem with DCC bringing ABP to court is its our money they are playing with and nobody will be held accountable

    Its not your money.

    What accountability are you looking for where people are doing the job required of them?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,042 ✭✭✭ questionmark?


    DaCor wrote: »
    Its not your money.

    What accountability are you looking for where people are doing the job required of them?

    Am ya it's called tax payers money so the poster was correct to say it was their money. Tax payers money belongs to all of us tax payers. That's how the country works!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,830 ✭✭✭ markpb


    DaCor wrote: »
    What accountability are you looking for where people are doing the job required of them?

    DCC believe that ABP are acting outside of their remit with this decision. If they're right, someone is precisely not doing their jobs and it needs to be fixed.


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatInABox


    markpb wrote: »
    DCC believe that ABP are acting outside of their remit with this decision. If they're right, someone is precisely not doing their jobs and it needs to be fixed.

    I'm no legal scholar, so this is just my uneducated opinion, but I really have to side with DCC on this one.

    Imagine getting planning permission for a project, then applying for planning permission to change said project, and instead of just rejecting or approving the change, ABP not only rejects the change, but goes back to the original application and totally changes that too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭ roadmaster


    DaCor wrote: »
    Its not your money.

    What accountability are you looking for where people are doing the job required of them?

    Are you happy for two state bodies to go to court and spend 100’s of thousands of tax payers money?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,953 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    Am ya it's called tax payers money so the poster was correct to say it was their money. Tax payers money belongs to all of us tax payers. That's how the country works!!!

    Am no. Tax is what you are legally required to pay for the running of the country through services and infrastructure.

    Once you pay it, its no longer yours. It is for the government to decide how to spend


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,953 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    roadmaster wrote: »
    Are you happy for two state bodies to go to court and spend 100’s of thousands of tax payers money?

    How would you prefer they resolve a legal issue?

    Flip a coin?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭ roadmaster


    DaCor wrote: »
    How would you prefer they resolve a legal issue?

    Flip a coin?

    I’d prefer Rock Paper Scissors to be honest.

    For state bodies there should be an internal mechanism to resolve these issues


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,953 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    roadmaster wrote: »
    I’d prefer Rock Paper Scissors to be honest.

    For state bodies there should be an internal mechanism to resolve these issues

    Thing is, DCC are treated no differently than anyone else. It has to be that way otherwise you end up with corruption and tribunals as has been seen in the past.

    Whether ABP were right or wrong will be decided by the courts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,042 ✭✭✭ questionmark?


    DaCor wrote: »
    Am no. Tax is what you are legally required to pay for the running of the country through services and infrastructure.

    Once you pay it, its no longer yours. It is for the government to decide how to spend

    Sweet Jesus! Here's me thinking we live in a democratic country. A Republic! Guess I was wrong. The Government(elected representatives of the people) are totally allowed to do what they want with tax payers money with no accountability so?? Not everyone agrees with how every cent is spent(that's democracy) but for the greater good we allow people to manage our(taxpayers) money.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,953 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    Sweet Jesus! Here's me thinking we live in a democratic country. A Republic! Guess I was wrong. The Government(elected representatives of the people) are totally allowed to do what they want with tax payers money with no accountability so?? Not everyone agrees with how every cent is spent(that's democracy) but for the greater good we allow people to manage our(taxpayers) money.

    Fair enough, in that case it's still not your money that will be used, it'll be a portion of the corporate tax take. Happy now?


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,291 ✭✭✭✭ vicwatson


    mountai wrote: »
    Applied for PP on site adjacent to my house in established area . Visually looked the same as existing houses but was 4 apartments ( to be used by my children ) . Passed by Council and satisfied all departments , Engineering ,Roads etc. Usual NIMBY objections , however Council gave permission and it was noted on file that my Architect was complimented on design . Appealed to ABP . Inspector for ABP inspector seconded Councils decision and said development should be allowed ( further praise for design) .
    I have no doubt , that because a local TD was one of the objectors , ABP went against the Council and turned it down . My point is , why does ABP go against their own independent inspectors decisions?. Why bother to have them employed in the first place?


    Totally agree, it's absolutely nuts that they go against their own site inspectors opinions, why bloody have them


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,471 ✭✭✭ facehugger99


    CatInABox wrote: »
    Truth be told, I'd be a fan of holding off on major investments until there's a recession, then using those projects to boost the economy during a downturn. It's better than the alternative of austerity during a recession, and better than paying over the odds during a boom. Look at the children's hospital, the price of that is soaring for multiple reasons, but one of those reasons is the cost of construction itself has gone up.

    Anyway, the current level of staffing in some of those departments are so abnormally low that they wouldn't even get ahead of the work in a recession, never mind a boom. They need more staff, regardless.

    Never going to happen in Ireland.

    If there's a choice between telling public servants they need to take a pay cut or dramatically reducing spending in infrastructure, you can be pretty sure what option an Irish Government will take - doesn't matter who's in power at the time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,471 ✭✭✭ facehugger99


    Bray Head wrote: »
    Infrastructure is not really a very good fiscal stimulus. If you want people to spend in a recession, just give them a cheque in the post.

    Most infrastructure is very labour intensive - the people getting a cheque in the post would be the thousands of construction industry workers - you know, those guys who lost jobs in the last recession.

    Bray Head wrote: »
    Infrastructure is also very capital intensive, and we don't make many capital goods in Ireland. A new metro line is very good for makers of trains, TBMs and other systems.

    Not really - road schemes for example require very little import, the vast majority of materials used can be locally sourced.

    Metro is very much the exception, not the rule.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    Never going to happen in Ireland.

    If there's a choice between telling public servants they need to take a pay cut or dramatically reducing spending in infrastructure, you can be pretty sure what option an Irish Government will take - doesn't matter who's in power at the time.

    Actually public servants took three pay cuts between 2009 and 2013.

    Personally I think this was necessary, but it seems people have short memories.

    I am not aware of any other direct pay cuts to public service salaries in Europe at the time. Greece perhaps.


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