Re: Re: Pre-planning discussions

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Coexist wrote:
If anyone engages the assistance of a planner in pre-planning discussions is it imperative that a record of these discussions be keptm or is there a more informal way of just asking a planners advicem on a planning matter?

We had a pre-planning consultation with two D.C.C. North inner city planners before lodging an application for a 40 apartment scheme. I was conscious that the then draft devlopment plan was due to come into force approx 4 months after our intended lodgement date. It contained significantly different standards for min. apartment sizes.
The main item I wanted clarified at the meeting was if our scheme could be designed and lodged under the then active dev. plan standards.
The planner’s answer was a very clear yes.
I noted this and all the other (numerous) items discussed in file notes.
When the scheme was lodged we received a request for additional information asking us to redesign to meet the draft plan standards.
I spoke to the planner involved. He went off to check his ‘notes’ and came back to tell me that he had no record or recollection of telliing us we could use the current standards. He then used the the stock phrase: “You are aware that all pre-planning comments are without prejudice, aren’t you?”.
I accept this “without prejudice” lark no problem, when it relates to the nature of the proposed works. But when a planning official is asked a clear question on Council ‘policy’, one should get a definitive answer. There is a big difference.
We eventually got the revised scheme to work but it cost our client money and time.
When I did get to see the planner’s notes of the 45min pre-planning meeting, they consisted of two lines of scrawl of the most general nature.
The pre-planning process on this project was a complete waste of time.

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