Difficult question

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    • #709254
      billy no mates

      My resident’s association recently had a planning appeal rejected (we objected against a proposed development) by an Bord Pleanala. The inspector actually agreed with us on almost all of the points we raised and recommended it be refused, the board overruled him and granted permission for the development with some variations. The entrance to this development is across council owned land (although the developer tried unsucessfully to claim ownership) and the council had no objection to its inclusion in the plans.
      One of the conditions the board laid down was that the developer must aquire this piece of land before construction can go ahead. Is there anything we the adjoining residents can do to prevent the council giving or selling this piece of land to the developer to prevent this development from going ahead? The piece of land contains some beautiful trees which are actually marked on the local development plan for preservation but will probably be destroyed by this construction.

    • #787743

      I would imagine that type of transaction would have to be passed by the Members – maybe they can stop it. However the applicant could well have a legal agreement with the Council already which would make it difficult to reverse.

    • #787744

      This Act may be relevant to your case?
      183.—(1) The following provisions have effect in relation to any proposed disposal (not being by demise for a term not exceeding one year) of land which is held by a local authority:
      (a) notices shall be sent or delivered to the members of the local authority giving particulars of—
      (i) the land,
      (ii) the name of the person from whom such land was acquired, if this can be ascertained by reasonable inquiries,
      (iii) the person to whom the land is to be disposed of,
      (iv) the consideration proposed in respect of the disposal,
      (v) any covenants, conditions or agreements to have effect in connection with the disposal;
      (b) at the first meeting of the local authority held after the expiration of 10 days after the day on which such notices are sent or delivered, the local authority may resolve that the disposal shall not be carried out or that it shall be carried out in accordance with terms specified in the resolution;
      (c) if the local authority resolves by virtue of paragraph (b) that the disposal shall not be carried out, it shall not be carried out;
      (d) if the local authority does not pass a resolution pursuant to paragraph (b), the disposal may be carried out;
      (e) if the local authority resolves by virtue of paragraph (b) that the disposal shall be carried out in accordance with terms specified in the resolution, the disposal may be carried out in accordance with those terms;
      (f) the disposal shall not be carried out otherwise than in accordance with paragraph (d) or (e) and subject to the consent of the Minister where consent is required under section 211(2) of the Act of 2000

    • #787745

      @Barry Hall wrote:

      I would imagine that type of transaction would have to be passed by the Members – maybe they can stop it. However the applicant could well have a legal agreement with the Council already which would make it difficult to reverse.

      Yes, the elected members must assent to any disposals of Council-owned land, so your next step is to lobby all your local councillors to ensure they don’t agree to sell the land.

    • #787746
    • #787747

      I am aware of a group of residents who are applying to their local authority to acquire a piece of land near me. It is a very small piece of land that a developer wanted to reroute a culvert from his property through to this public piece of land (wooded area) which would mean 100% tree felling.The Council has refused permission however the developer is appealing this to ABP. They have gotten Councillors to raise this disposal of land to developers at Council meetings with success – a pre-emptive strike if the ABP doesn’t go their way.

      I would suggest that you lobby like crazy all those councillors/tds and attend as an observer in the public galleries the meetings where such a land disposal would be discussed – it could be discussed under the development department agenda. You will find that they say one thing to your face but may vote another way. We have found that attendance at these meetings to hear the discussion of these councillors is the only way but it does need commitment. You should also get fellow residents to sign a petition and copy it to every Councillor/td. You might ask the Councillors to submit a motion blocking the disposal of such land – flush those councillors out. Is the land that is in council ownership zoned residential? You may want your councillors to rezone it to amenity use. Request under the FOI Act all documents that pertain to that publicly owned site and to any communication between the local authority and this developer. You said there are important trees on this site – are they actually protected on a statutory basis or is there a retention/preservation objective in the Council’s Development Plan? If there isn’t a tree preservation order then now is the time to get them listed! Have you had a tree survey done? What policies do the Council have iro trees and hedgerow (are there any hedgerows onsite). You should contact the parks dept because they may want to object to this so called disposal of land. Send a flyer to everyone in the local area and call a public meeting and invite councillors and tds. Those Tds and Councillors that don’t support you in the run up to an election name them!

      You have a window of opportunity to block this disposal of land so contact everybody and anybody. The developer will be doing his own lobbying – believe you me not just of councillors/tds but also of council officials. Your Residents Association/group can request a Deputations Meeting at your Council HQ where the Councillors and Officials attend and discuss a pre-arranged agenda with you. You set the agenda which in this case I would suggest that you set as being: one the trees and their protection and two the proposal to dispose this land to a developer. Decisions can be made at this meeting so they really are an important tool for you to use. From my experience the max amount that can be in your deputations party is five but your other supporters can always observe from the gallery. The Community Dept generally organises these meetings if you contact them. These meetings are the best kept secret in terms of holding officials accountable in front of Councillors. Just really do your homework and be able to quote their Development Plan back at them in terms of trees etc., Read a prepared statement into the record of the meeting, hand copies of this statement to all those there in the chambers so that you have an undertaking from the Chairperson that your full statement will be recorded in the minutes. Then request a a copy of the minutes. It is vital that all your local councillors are present at this deputations meeting so give them plenty of notice that you want a full attendance from them. You should expect to see officials specifically from the planning, development, community and parks departments attend and request their representation just in case.

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