False information on planning application?

False information on planning application?

Postby billy no mates » Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:46 pm

What are the implications for providing false or misleading information in a planning application, or where would I find information regarding this?
Thanks
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby billy no mates » Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:28 pm

Am I right in thinking that perhaps there are no rules governing this?
I've searched high and low, Googled and trawled every website I could think of before asking on here, and I can find absolutely no information or guidlines on what the implications are of telling 'porkie pies' on a planning application......


Where next?:confused: :confused: :confused:
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby BubbaGump » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:21 am

The practice, as you probably know, is that the PA often regard "providing false or misleading information in a planning application" as an inadvertent mistake rather than anything more devious or sinister by the applicant, leaving the benefit of the doubt with the developer. It is in this context that, were there any statutory prohibition on such a practice (& I'm sure there must be in the Planning Acts) the PA are slow and reluctant to take independant action.
You can always dispute his assertions or false information & request the PA to investigate but you'll certainly need to garner some political support from local councillors to force the PA expedite any such queries.
I hope you're not in Kildare!
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby zelemon » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:33 pm

Hi folks,

A neighbour has recently lodged an application for a house in a rural setting where has has totally underestimated the size of his overall landholding, is this a case for invalidation or if the LA fail to notice this will the application be invalidated further down the line.

regards,
ZL
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby shadow » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:29 pm

An error on a planning applicaiton will invalidate the whole application (I beleive this was reinforced int the 2000 Planning and Development Acts). However where an error is merely a typogrpahical error or if it is not substantial then I am not sure how committed a local authority would be to prosecute. If the error is substantial, such as claiming areas are different or other quantative information that would alter the core decision then that is another matter. If there is an outright attempt to defraud by making claims that cannot be substantiated then that might be a matter for the fraud squad as well as the LA.
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby onq » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:39 pm

zelemon wrote:Hi folks,

A neighbour has recently lodged an application for a house in a rural setting where has has totally underestimated the size of his overall landholding, is this a case for invalidation or if the LA fail to notice this will the application be invalidated further down the line.

regards,
ZL


Just to get this clear - you are saying that he has underestimated the size.
This means he has said he owns less that he actually does own.

I'm not sure this could be construed as material re one house.
If it was the other way round and the area was tight, then it might.

For example saying he owned half an acre rather than one quarter of an acre in an area where half an acre was the norm required to satisfy separation distances between percolation areas and a well.

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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby henno » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:42 pm

zelemon wrote:Hi folks,

A neighbour has recently lodged an application for a house in a rural setting where has has totally underestimated the size of his overall landholding, is this a case for invalidation or if the LA fail to notice this will the application be invalidated further down the line.

regards,
ZL


the first answer is no, it is not case for the invalidation of the applicant.

you may make an error like this as an issue in a submission to the file, for the LA to deal with as they wis. This give your the opportunity, and correctly so, to base your objection on factual and relevant development issues.

as an aside, underestimating a landholding on an application for a rural house is more detrimental to the applicant.
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby onq » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:38 am

What is with this "applicant" stuff Henno?
You're not posting from the i-Phone are you?

Its the application that gets invalidated or validated, the applicant just gets frustrated.

:D

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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby vca » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:25 pm

I would really appreciate some clarification on this query about false information on planning applications.

I am aware of a situation where a developer did a 'land-grab' and built some storage buildings and an ESB sub-station ancillary
to an adjoining larger development on land that he did not own and without planning permission. The developer is now trying to make
an application for retention permission despite the fact that he does not own the land and was refused registration for it by the PRAI.
It appears that the parcel of land in question is unregistered and adverse possession is likely to rest with the local county council.

Local residents would like the land to be used as public amenity space and tried to have the planning application declared invalid
as the applicant does not own the land. The planning authority concerned are ignoring their requests.
They did invalidate the application because "the gross floor area was not stated" and "a north point was omitted from one plan".

I am sure that the application will reappear and I would like to be able to quote precedence or legislation.
In accordance with the Planning and Development Regulations: Sections 22 (10 (d) and 26 (3) (a) this planning application cannot be validated
if the applicant does not own the land or have the consent of the owner.

But what do you do if the planning authority chooses to ignore this?
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby onq » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:33 pm

VCA, since your allegation, however well-founded you may consider it to be, has the potential to be seen as defamatory by other, can I respectfully advise you to be careful about posting any detailed information here sufficient to identify the actors or the land.
OTOH, you might have attracted more attention if you had posted a new threadfor this but here goes - my off the cuff recollection is that an applicant must have sufficient legal interest in the land to make an application.
This in part arose from past practices of people making outline planning applications on multiple sites for filling stations and suchlike - where they did not own the land.

Sufficient legal interest may need more definition than I can give it at the moment, but if the owner consents to the making of an application this may suffice.
As the council may already be a beneficiary of this person's development in the form oif levies and may also hold a bond on him to finish the development, they may be found to have a vested interest in this.
Equally, for all you know, there may have been a tacit agreement - never formalised perhaps - between the counsil and the developer to allow him to use this land in this manner from the very outset of negotiations.
It highlights the dichotomy faced by planning officers who may wish to refuse an application but then the realities of the situation are explained to them and they may decide to go softer than otherwise might be expected.

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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby publicrealm » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:06 pm

[quote="onq"]

In general the Planning Authority will not investigate an initial assertion of ownership by an Applicant - so if the Applicant claims ownership then the PA will not seee any need for a letter of consent.

If I were opposing the development I would make an observation on the ownership issue (once the application is relodged) and get as many neighbours as possible to do the same. The PA may then write to the Applicant seeking evidence of title. If the Applicant cannot provide then the application may be deemed invalid.

In the meantime I would compklain to the Enforcement Department and pursue enforcement action.

(Like ONQ I would be slow to propose invalidating an Applicant - the Courts might not be sympathetic):D
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby henno » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:43 pm

there have been many applicants i would have loved to "invalidate"... must have been a Freudian slip :D

I would reiterate the above, planning CAN be granted for permission on lands not under the ownership of the applicant, it happens a lot of the time. However, should an applicant develop lands outside of their ownership then that becomes a legal issue, pure and simple. If the application is finalised and development has started, its the remit of the landowners to instigate proceedings if the is a claim of land usurpation.

In general, title for all lands have to be clarified during planning applicantions. Its not uncommon for adjoining landowners to include letters of permssion, clarification etc if development is to take place on their lands.
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby onq » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:10 am

henno wrote:However, should an applicant develop lands outside of their ownership then that becomes a legal issue, pure and simple.


(nods)

Lets assume the land IS owned by the Council.

Regardless of any tacit agreement between the council and the builder to use the land for this purpose, if permission was granted for the installation on land not owned by the builder then, IMO unless there was some evidence of an agreement to this course of events by the owner [the Council] on file then the process may be questionable in retrospect.

Stepping outside the planning process for a moment and coming at this from two other angles; -

(i) I would think that matters of transfer of land might be best addressed by the State Solicitor, who I would hope was involved in any sale, lease or other arrangement.

(ii) I think Councillors are requried to be involved in the approval of Council lands for sale, although the County Manager may have an executive function and there may in fact nowadays be a tendering requirement, so as to avoid cosy arrangements and obtain the best price for the land.

Ergo, whether or not there was a tacit agreement in place, I believe [this is not stating as fact] that some legal arrangement may have been required to be entered into and evidenced SOMEWHERE, whether on the Planning File or in a document lodged with the State Solicitors office for the Council/UDC in question.

I also believe [again, this is not stating as fact] that this legal arrangement may have been required to be passed through due process for sale of land owned by the Council, involving a nassessment of best pricing and a ratification of the sale by the Member [Elected Representatives] of the Council.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOWEVER, where adverse possession is being claimed a whole other set of rules and regulations in the legla sphere come into play and all the above may be totally irrelevant.

After all, if the Council have not determined ownership in their favour, they cannot enter into a legal agreement to sell the land.

You could then address queries to the ESB's legal team and see what asasurances they were offered in relation to access.

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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby zelemon » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:08 am

shadow wrote:An error on a planning applicaiton will invalidate the whole application (I beleive this was reinforced int the 2000 Planning and Development Acts). However where an error is merely a typogrpahical error or if it is not substantial then I am not sure how committed a local authority would be to prosecute. If the error is substantial, such as claiming areas are different or other quantative information that would alter the core decision then that is another matter. If there is an outright attempt to defraud by making claims that cannot be substantiated then that might be a matter for the fraud squad as well as the LA.


The issues are substantial, the applicant has said he owns 5ac when in fact he owns about 20ac. He has also left key contextual info off plans!
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby henno » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:51 am

zelemon wrote:The issues are substantial, the applicant has said he owns 5ac when in fact he owns about 20ac. He has also left key contextual info off plans!


in YOUR opinion that is substantial. Its the planners opinion that is paramount here. In my own opinion that is not a substantial issue. As has been clarified, its actually to the detriment of the applicant to under-size his/her landholding. It has already been clarified here as well, that the LA will not get intimately involved in land ownership discussions.
I would assume the minimum site size for a rural site in your county is either 1/2 or 3/4 acre. So showing a 5 acre landholding is more than sufficient!!!!

Regarding information left off plans, the planning regulations are very very prescriptive as to what information MUST be included as part of a planning application. If this application has been validated by the LA then they have deemed that the information submitted DOES comply with the requirements of the planning regulations.

If you have an issue with this application you need to start looking at it from a factual basis rather than an opinionated one. Deal with the issues specifically in regard to the local or county development plan, regional guidelines or national guidelines. Look at issues such as zoning, traffic, effluent disposal, design and housing need. If there are real issues here, then they carry much more weight than the arguments your trying to make here.
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby onq » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:38 am

zelemon wrote:The issues are substantial, the applicant has said he owns 5ac when in fact he owns about 20ac. He has also left key contextual info off plans!


If he actually owns land in the vicinity of the site the only onus on the applicant is to show the site of the application outlined in read with the balance of the land outlined in blue and with wayleaves in yellow.
If he has not done that bring it to the attention of the planning officer in the form of a €20 objection and then you can lodge an appeal if you still feel aggrieved about it.
Speaking as a person with 20 years experience of planning decisions I have to support Henno's comments and those of other experienced posters here.

I will now direct you to comments made by a Judge of the Supreme Court hearing an Appeal taken by lay litigants from the High Court -
"Obsession has replaced reason and invective has replaced argument"

This seems to be where you stand at the moment.
Start listening, do your own research on the matter by all means, but stop arguing from first principles - the law, including planning law, isn't like that.
You have received good free advice here - take it.

And remember, many of the respondents to this thread have conducted Appeals themselves and felt the very same sense of grievance - we are not the enemy here.
We have learnt from our experiences and have passed this learning on to you - reject it at your peril.
And yes, we ARE that good - we do this for a living, or used to.

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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby shadow » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:50 pm

henno wrote:If this application has been validated by the LA then they have deemed that the information submitted DOES comply with the requirements of the planning regulations.


All that validation does is to check if the material elements as required by the act are present. It does not verify the content or the facts. Especially dangerous if fraud is involved, the local authority are not a commissioner of oaths.
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby henno » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:04 pm

shadow wrote:All that validation does is to check if the material elements as required by the act are present. It does not verify the content or the facts. Especially dangerous if fraud is involved, the local authority are not a commissioner of oaths.


you use very emotive and extreme language.

to suggest fraud means that one party is endeavouring to profit at the expense of another. Pray tell who is the subject of "fraud"if the applicant is apparently showing less landholding than exists???? who looses out?

the point has already been made that the LA will not investigate matters such as land ownership in no means further than clarification letters or copies of land registry matters.

Should an applicant be claiming land that is NOT within their ownership, then legal issues arise at such a time as the applicant attempts to subjugate the land.

Planning permission CAN be granted on lands not under the ownership of the applicant. It happens quite often. However, in the case in point, even this is not an issue. Its extremely difficult to see how a case for invalidation can be made as, in my opinion, any issue raised so far would not invalidate either the application or any subsequent decision.
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby shadow » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:14 pm

I did not think that the language was extreme, merely factual. Nor was I speaking about the case above. This is a matter of the principle. It may be an oversight where information was misrepresented. It still follows that the LA has no means whereby they can prove it one way or another. Fraud can take any form and it may not be one of loss but one of gain (unfairly or illegally).

"Planning permission CAN be granted on lands not under the ownership of the applicant. It happens quite often." This is correct but the issue of invalidation has to do with an error being made, regardless of what the error was. My understanding is that an application with an error may be invalidated later.

Perhaps a planning barrister may qualify the above.
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby onq » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:17 pm

shadow wrote:I did not think that the language was extreme, merely factual. Nor was I speaking about the case above. This is a matter of the principle. It may be an oversight where information was misrepresented. It still follows that the LA has no means whereby they can prove it one way or another. Fraud can take any form and it may not be one of loss but one of gain (unfairly or illegally).

"Planning permission CAN be granted on lands not under the ownership of the applicant. It happens quite often." This is correct but the issue of invalidation has to do with an error being made, regardless of what the error was. My understanding is that an application with an error may be invalidated later.

Perhaps a planning barrister may qualify the above.


The process of validation rests with the planning officer not a Planning Barrister.

The matter you raise, shadow, seems to be a side issue and not related to the core issue raised by Zelamon in post No. 4.
This was centering on whether showing less land than the applicant actually owns may invalidate the application.
I fail to see how this view can be supported unless the no-show is material to the assessment in some way.

Showing less land in the application than is owned limits the permission to the land included in the red line AFAICS, but little else seems to arise.

The planning process is not intended to deal with all matters which may be material at validation stage - this is a tick-box check process.
This is a winnowing process whereby obviously incomplete application documents are thrown back to the applicant to avoid wasting LA time and resources.
When an application is deemed to be valid it moves to the next stage of assessment, it doesn't get granted permission - it gets put under the planners microscope.

Should an issue be discovered or raised by an objector during the course of the five week planning assessment process it will be dealt with.
If ownership of other lands or an alleged mis-statement is deemed to be material issue then it will be addressed at that stage.

But its important to realize that this is not necessarily going to become material - planning law addresses planning issues.
Apart from having the necessary legal interest or consents to make the application - that's usually it.
Planning law doesn't supersede the law of the land.

W should try to remember; -

"De minimis non curat lex."

"The law does not concern itself with trifles."

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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby PVC King » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:18 pm

I think you are both right in particular circumstances; take two cases

1. Landowner applies for consent and includes in drawings entire curtliage but say mixes up his measurements along the lines of adjusting acres to hectares twice and understates almost to his disadvantage.

2. Landowner applies for consent; wilfully submits a defective os extract which omits a portion of land relating to an SEA to avoid submission to AT & DoE or another field which contains a dwelling the planning grant for which was conditional on sterilising the rest of the holding for a stated and unexpired period or assumed perp. Here the application would be assessed differently on the basis of a deliberate ommision; if not legally fraudulent it is certainly highly unethical.

If you were selling you'd advise the buyer to rely on their own enquiries; if buying you'd need to tease out the benefit and motivation if any behind the error and get professional advice as to the probability of the hoilding facing enforcement proceedings. In this climate I can't see any solicitor not covering themselves if this is a financed purchase.
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby vca » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:02 pm

henno wrote:Pray tell who is the subject of "fraud"if the applicant is apparently showing less landholding than exists???? who looses out?


In an application for a Social Housing Exemption Certificate (SHEC) on the basis that the site is below 0.1 hectare in area it would benefit the applicant to understate the area of the site in order to get a SHEC.

I have come across examples of this particularly on sites for high density development that were marginally larger than 0.1 hectare.

It is the Local Authority and ultimately the public who loose out.
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby henno » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:36 pm

vca wrote:In an application for a Social Housing Exemption Certificate (SHEC) on the basis that the site is below 0.1 hectare in area it would benefit the applicant to understate the area of the site in order to get a SHEC.

I have come across examples of this particularly on sites for high density development that were marginally larger than 0.1 hectare.

It is the Local Authority and ultimately the public who loose out.


completely agreed, however i was referring specifically to the issue which was raised about an applicant showing a 5 acre land holding on an application for a "one-off", instead of 20 acres.

You're referring to application on zoned land which falls within a specific land area parameter. This is not the case in point
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby lady louisa » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:47 pm

This thread has kind of strayed from the original topic.

But I am very interested in Billy no mates query.

The most common porkie pie that my clients want to tell is usually in relation to Rural Housing Local Need....and qualifying for same in accordance with the criteria in the relevant LA County Development Plan.....

I know of blatant porkies in relation to same and have often wondered if there is some sort of enforcement / retribution (!) for same. Not in my humble opinion, or experience....

Does anyone know any example of a pork-pie being written on a planning application or rural housing application form, which actually WAS discovered during the planning application consideration stage and if so what happened next???
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Re: False information on planning application?

Postby henno » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:59 pm

lady louisa wrote:This thread has kind of strayed from the original topic.

But I am very interested in Billy no mates query.

The most common porkie pie that my clients want to tell is usually in relation to Rural Housing Local Need....and qualifying for same in accordance with the criteria in the relevant LA County Development Plan.....

I know of blatant porkies in relation to same and have often wondered if there is some sort of enforcement / retribution (!) for same. Not in my humble opinion, or experience....

Does anyone know any example of a pork-pie being written on a planning application or rural housing application form, which actually WAS discovered during the planning application consideration stage and if so what happened next???


in my experience any claims made regarding local housing needs MUST be backed up by strong independent documentation.
Kildare, for example may look for at least 14 years of documentary evidence showing the applicant living in the locality. Usually i suggest that the applicant get letters from schools, parish priests, local community groups etc affirming connection with an area. again, in my experience, if an applicants link is 'flimsy' it is usually found out during the application and is subsequently refused.

however, with everything in life, im sure there are situations where douments have be 'augmented' etc to show a bias. while i do not know of any such situation, i wouldnt back against it :)
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