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Lord Mayor of Cork calls for reconsideration of planning appeals timeframe

The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Dara Murphy has written to Mr. John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (24/6/09) to express his dissatisfaction with what he considers to be a serious imbalance against economic development in the planning application process as it is currently formulated.

A Planning Authority must grant, refuse or seek further information on a planning application within eight weeks of receipt of a valid application. An application cannot be determined within the first five weeks following its receipt, as this is the period for submissions or objections. Where further information is sought and responded to, a Planning Authority has four weeks in which to determine the application. An appeal to An Bord Pleanála must be made within four weeks beginning on the date of the decision of the Planning Authority.  Although lengthy, this timeframe is consistent with good planning and the public right to challenge or amend a planning application.

The Lord Mayor wrote “My difficulty is with the inordinate, and to my mind entirely excessive, timeframe which An Bord Pleanála is afforded. The Board's statutory objective is to dispose of appeals within 18 weeks. However, where the Board does not consider it possible or appropriate to reach a decision within 18 weeks (e.g. because of delays arising from the holding of an oral hearing), it will inform the parties of the reasons for this and must say when it intends to make the decision.”

The Lord Mayor continued “Whereas I fully support the public right to further appeal and consideration, I consider the initial consultation period to be excessive and the open-ended nature of further consultation to be contrary to the public good regarding a region’s ability to be responsible for its own economic independence and development. I strongly urge a reconsideration of this policy.”






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