Appealing to ABP

Appealing to ABP

Postby Peter Fitz » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Hi all,
I wan’t to appeal a decision by SDCC to grant permission for a development in my local area.

I’m not sure if I’ll be wasting my time – would be grateful for any advice on the best way to approach this.

Permission to extend the local community centre has been granted including permission to construct 3 astro turf pitches – I have no problem with the alterations to the community centre, my issue is with the location of the astro turf pitches;

- The pitches will significantly encroach on what is open parkland at the centre of the area.
- The precedent set by allowing development/partial privatisation of this parkland & implications for future development.
- The required 3m fencing with additional 2m netting and 12, 10m high floodlight standards will significantly alter existing visual amenity, particularly given topography & prominence of site.
- The development requires the main pedestrian pathway in the area to be re-routed, but takes no account of actual pedestrian flows & the inconvenience this realignment will cause.
- SDCC required additional information from the applicants, including a detailed landscape plan from a ‘qualified landscape architect’ – What was submitted is very much at the level of Ann & Barry. As landscape design is my area, I can say that the plan itself seems to be from a person that is not qualified, grounds for appeal in itself? What is proposed, and now accepted, in terms of tree planting etc. suggests incompetence - a small tree symbol for an oak, a plant list that contains every tree species under the sun, ornamental species that are blatantly not suitable for a park setting etc.)

I find it hard to fathom that the landscape plan submitted, which contains proposals to dot trees all over the entire park area, was acceptable to SDCC.

As my concerns relate primarily to visual amenity, landscape planning etc. and I have no issue with the actual building proposal, do I stand any chance with ABP ?

Just for reference, if your still awake, below is the existing site (hello there Mrs. Mooney).

Image

Site boundary in red, existing pathway in blue - The pathway will be re-routed to follow the red outline, the primary destination of most pedestrians is well to the left of the existing pathway.

And the accepted landscape plan;

Image

Many thanks for any input.
Peter.
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby wearnicehats » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:35 pm

I assume you made a submission to SDCC at planning stage.

If so it might help to outline the points you made then

If not you can't appeal to ABP
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby StephenC » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:13 pm

And if you did make an original observation...why not just tidy up what you have written above and make a letter from it and send it on.
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby Peter Fitz » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:01 am

I did lodge an objection with SDCC, but it was pretty poor - I just didn't have the time. I threw something in with a view to appealing to ABP if it came to it; as SDCC agreed to transfer the land for the astro pitches, there was never a realistic prospect of this not receiving permission at council level.

The brevity of my initial objection may run against my case ?

I've since done a fair bit of trawling through the ABP site, there's a fair few cases of ABP overturning permission for various local pitch developments, largely on grounds of sufficient car parking, access, pedestrian safety etc - though one or two cases overturned on grounds of 'significant injury to visual amenity' etc.

I'm well able to pull apart this guys landscape proposal as being totally inappropriate for open parkland, just not sure how much ABP pay attention to landscape planning, they seem happy to defer to local parks departments, pretty much all of the time.

The few reasons I originally posted (see below) would briefly summarise my objections, not sure if these points will be of concern or push any of the right buttons with ABP though, advice?

- The pitches will significantly encroach on what is open parkland, located at the centre of the kingswood estate for 30+ years.
- The precedent set by allowing development/partial privatisation of this parkland & implications for future development.
- The required 3m fencing with additional 2m netting and 12, 10m high floodlight standards will significantly alter existing visual amenity, particularly given topography & prominence of site.
- The development requires the main pedestrian pathway in the area to be re-routed, but takes no account of actual pedestrian flows & the inconvenience this realignment will cause.
- SDCC required additional information from the applicants, including a detailed landscape plan from a ‘qualified landscape architect’ – the proposal submitted is entirely inappropriate for open parkland, the proposer is not a qualified landscape architect.
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby pico » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:55 pm

The quality of the initial observation is immaterial. That you made the observation entitles you to appeal, and An Bord Pleanala are supposed to consider the application based on the information supplied by the Applicant and objector as if this is the application (ignoring the LA's decision).

However you would need to act quickly, as all information needs to be submitted in one go with the appeal request and a cheque for €100.

You have specialist knowledge in landscape design, so I would use this, flesh out what you have posted here, refer to the Development Plan and any contraventions, and your concerns.

At the least, you might be able to get ABP to request a more detailed landscape plan in the conditions. And maybe more....

Good luck.
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby Peter Fitz » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:18 pm

Thank you pico, I have until Jan 16th to get it in, will get to it this weekend.

100 Euro? I thought fee would be 220?
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby pico » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:35 pm

Sorry, I'm out of date. 220 as you say
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby DOC » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:39 am

Also just to bear in mind that any appeal to ABP does not have to be a thesis!

I see so many appeals to ABP that are 20 pages, or more, of pure waffle! Once you trawl through, there may be only one or two (vaild) points in those pages.

Keep your submission brief and to the point...it has more impact...and the planning inspector in ABP may appreciate that too! :-)

Your points above seem pretty valid - I would just flesh those out somewhat.
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby Peter Fitz » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:31 pm

Thanks for that DOC.

Not sure about the required fee -

Commercial development - 1500
Unauthorised commercial development - 4500
Other unatuhorised development - 660
Any other appeal - 220

Not sure if the astro pitches, given that there will be a charge for their use, results in this being classed as a commercial development?
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby Peter Fitz » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:35 pm

Should I include images, aerial views, perspectives etc.?
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby DOC » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:39 am

Do include photos, etc. - anything that backs up your points.

AFAIK, (third party) appeal fee is E 220. Other fees you have noted are all first party appeal fees. Check with ABP first - they will be happy to tell you/clarify.
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby Peter Fitz » Wed May 01, 2013 11:32 am

Ok so I went ahead with my appeal back in January.

The board are due to rule next month.

The Community Centre hired an external planning consultant to produce a response to my appeal and that of 2 others, which claims to comprehensively debunk all of our concerns, and have submitted that to ABP.

ABP have now invited me to respond to the planning consultants report, which has to be in tomorrow.

Is it normal practice for ABP to offer appelants a right of reply such as this?

Any advice on how I should handle my response - this planning consultants response selectively parses through the 5 issues I have raised and purports to deal with them, should I in turn respond to his report line by line ? or just re-inforce my original points ...

Any input much appreciated!
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby gunter » Wed May 01, 2013 11:12 pm

Referring further correspondence back again and again for further comment is becoming a common practice with Bord Pleanala. Back in the day, you just fired off your best shot and that was it until judgement dropped through your letter box a year or so later.

Generally I think a point-by-point rebuttal is best, these guys in Bord Pleanala are planners by profession, but that doesn't mean that your submission needs to be be dull and plodding, just not too challenging, and with bullet points.

If the response from the applicant was selective, hit them hard on the points that they chose not to address and if their debunking was twaddle, don't let them away with that.

I imagine you've nailed all the main points; the light pollution, the noise pollution [incl. a very predictable level of swearing], the fact that the hours of operation will be disruptive of other peoples' residential amenity, and the unprovided for additional car parking demand etc.

As well as that, as a neighbour to this thing, you'd be entitled to exhibit a reasonable measure of controlled indignation.

The park is a community asset, it belongs to the whole community. The proposed development of all-weather pitches unfairly appropriates a significant portion of the park solely for the use of just one section of the community.

The proposed all-weather pitches, and their attendant fence enclosures, would drive a barrier between the community centre and the park, creating a disconnect, and a jargon opportunity, and relegating the remainder of the park to little more than the status of peripheral landscaping.

If you judge that a conciliatory gesture might demonstrate the reasonableness of your position, you could suggest that if the proposal was reduced from three all-weather pitches to one, and if a properly designed landscaping proposal were to be devised to mitigate its negative impact, that might address your concern sufficiently to form the basis of a reasonable compromise.

Good luck with it.
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby StephenC » Thu May 02, 2013 3:24 pm

Yes I agree...a point by point rebuttal. Unlike local authorities..the planners in ABP actually tend to read and consider submissions rather than simply note them and copy and paste their contents. However try and be succinct and to the point.
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Re: Appealing to ABP

Postby Peter Fitz » Thu May 02, 2013 7:59 pm

Thanks for the input guys, appreciate it.

That's pretty much the approach I took. I was perhaps a little testy in parts, but the planning consultant wasn't behind the door either in dismissing all concerns. We shall wait & see!
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