Devin wrote:What has come over Dublin City Council?? Planning application at North Star Hotel opposite Connolly Stn. for 8-storey new hotel building on current surface parking area to rear of hotel. In decision to grant permission newly out, they lobbed three storeys off (Ref. 3931/09).
Also whacked three floors off recent 10-storey proposal for M&S Mary Street loading bay area - 2121/09 (eventually got refused on appeal)
But WTF? They just rubber-stamped every ridiculous proposal that came into them during Celtic Tiger. Such changes like these were unheard of ....... maybe they're finally sick of seeing their decisions savaged on appeal ....
Ciaran Cuffe often spoke of this scenario as being the worst of both Worlds as the developer has their development numbers savaged and the City gets lumbered with a building that is out of scale i.e. possibly attractive at 10 but not designed to be in proportion at 7.
I am of the opinion that the system needs to change to one where the planning fees are not forfeited when a building consent is refused but that similarly to F.I. requests that the design team be afforded an opportunity to re-submit within the parameters of the building lines that would be acceptable.
However why go to refusal in the first instance?
To stop developers doing a graduated reduction and clogging the system I see a great merit in all applications for over 5 storeys having to procure via a council nominated source a montage from selected angles in advance of the initial application to set the boundaries. Given the scale of planning fees is it too much to ask that pre planning consultation phase move from a lottery based on sketches and often only a short meeting to a valuable source of guidance to developers before they pay for detailed designs which may take multiple meetings. I can appreciate that Devin is no fan of looking at a very wasteful multi-application game being played out either; in the current climate it makes perfect sense for developers to have access to planners in minuted meetings (on the record/subsequent application) once they pay hourly rates that reflect the costs of the planners involved.