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The planning process can be complex and difficult to understand, particularly for those who may be unfamiliar with the system. The purpose of pre-planning is to afford the opportunity to an applicant for planning permission, to seek advice from the Planning Authority on the proposed development in terms of the procedures involved in considering a planning application. A planner will not advise, based on the documents submitted with a pre-planning request, that a proposal will receive planning permission.
As stated in Section 247 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended), “In any consultations under subsection (1), the Planning Authority shall advise the person concerned of the procedures involved in considering a planning application, including any requirements of the permission regulations, and shall, as far as possible, indicate the relevant objectives of the development plan which may have a bearing on the decision of the Planning Authority”.
The system as a whole is designed to be objective, open and fair. Planners are obliged to explain to applicants, and potential applicants, the Planning Authority’s policies in relation to particular areas of the county and the considerations taken into account in dealing with particular classes of applications e.g. housing, retail, commercial etc. In addition, planners will endeavour to assist in identifying possible alternative locations should a particular proposal on a specific site be considered unacceptable.
It should be noted that pre-planning requests should relate to a specific proposal for a specific site / land. Those that are speculative in the sense that they refer to lands/ property with the applicant requesting advice in general, together with queries relating to sites that are up for auction and seeking advice for “development potential” for their lands cannot be dealt with by the Planning Authority. The Planning Authority does not consider it appropriate nor has it the resources to deal with such queries and the applicant should consult the relevant development plans and/or seek appropriate professional advice.
In relation to small scale developments, this advice may be given via, a telephone call, correspondence or email. It is not always necessary to hold a pre-planning meeting.
It should be noted that any advice is given in good faith and without prejudice to the formal consideration of any subsequent planning application. Article 247 (3) of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 2000 (as amended) states that “the carrying out of consultations shall not prejudice the performance by a Planning Authority of any other of its functions under this Act, or any regulations made under this Act and cannot be relied upon in the formal planning process or in legal proceedings.” Formal consideration of a planning application is necessarily more extensive than consideration at the pre-application stage because of consideration of any internal technical reports e.g. environment section or submissions from third parties or prescribed bodies.
Pre-planning clinics for single one-off houses are usually held the second Thursday of every month. A fully completed application, together with all the required documentation, must be lodged with the planning department at least one week before the clinic date. A list of the clinic dates for 2019 is available below. The application form can be downloaded below.
Pre-planning meetings for any development, other than a single one-off house, are dealt with on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. A fully completed application, together with all the required documentation, must be submitted prior to an appointment being offered. The application form can be downloaded below.
Pre-planning meetings for Strategic Housing Developments shall be dealt with in accordance with the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016.
PLEASE NOTE We are experiencing a very large volume of pre-planning requests, for developments other than a single one-off house, at the moment and as such the wait time is approximately 4-5 weeks.