PR on planning applications
- This topic has 6 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 14 years, 2 months ago by Anonymous.
May 16, 2007 at 12:14 pm #709390DeaglanParticipant
I’ve always been curious to the aspect of planning wherby public representatives represent applicants.
One thing I’d like to know is if a public representative makes representation is this verbally or in written format. If verbally, is an account of what is said documented.
Any info on this most appreciated.
May 16, 2007 at 3:35 pm #789270AnonymousInactive
It is usually agreed verbally and completed in brown envelope form.
See planning tribunals.
May 16, 2007 at 6:57 pm #789271AnonymousInactive
Some Councillors see it as part of the services that they are expected to provide. I spoke to one last week in the Planning Office – he would be quite happy if it was off limits to them as it is a thankless task for them – for every happy consituent they get there is another one that ends up pissed off.
For other Councillors it’s a bit of a power trip – I’ve heard one guy boast about the ‘Planning I got for people’ – you’d think he’d designed the houses, done the percolation tests and lodged the applications himself.
There is no doubt that they have quicker access to Planning Officials which is unfair. It could take an agent 2 months to get a pre planning meeting when a Councillor can get the Senior Planner out to have look at a site in a week sometimes.
Apparently Kilkenny Co Co have a policy that Councillors can’t comment on ‘live’ applications – should be copied everywhere. My understanding of the Planning Acts is that their role should be resticted to formulation of policy only.
May 17, 2007 at 9:04 am #789272AnonymousInactive
In an ideal world there should be no need for a councillor to “drop in” an application, however if the client feels better it really is no harm. The real problem starts when the public representative decides to involve themselves further in the planning process by hassling the planners, taking it upon themselves to answer parts of the further information requests and dropping in various bits and pieces of information to the planning authority on a weekly basis but worse still, when they start advising the client on how the house “should” have been designed and where it “should” have been sited (on top of the hill so the rainwater drains away from the house). Unfortunately there has been quite a bit of this in the last few weeks
May 17, 2007 at 6:02 pm #789273AnonymousInactive
i had one where the councillor has advised the design wasn’t what he likes and wouldn’t go to the planer unless it’s redesigned…
May 18, 2007 at 12:46 am #789274AnonymousInactive
As someone who deals with local reps on a regular basis, I can state that the good ones (councillors that is) wished that planning was off limits as it is very unclear what kind of benefit it has in terms of electoral support. In my own area, you see staunch FF supporters shopping around and using FG reps and vice versa, while in reality, most of these people will still vote on party lines. The problem is not as bad in City Councils but in rural areas it is endemic.
Now, if you were to put yourself in the position of a Councillor, you’d understand why they get dragged into planning issues. If they were to get a reputation of being unsympathetic to planning, their popularity would plummet, and thus many find themselves unwilling guests in Planning offices every week. This has happened in my own area and it won’t be until June 2009 that we see the impact of this on certain councillors.
Planning should be off limits to councillors and limited to strategic issues like Planning and developments of significant public concern. Although, to be honest, the number of councillors in the state should also be cut down, with more emphasis on quality rather than quantity – with more full time councillors who are renumerated appropriately rather than loads of part time pumpers:mad:
May 18, 2007 at 12:49 pm #789275AnonymousInactive
Elected representatives have an input into the development process at Development plan stage. Planning applications are assessed by the technical planners and adjudicated on by the executive position of county manager. The managers decision can be overruled by the elected menbers voting on a section 140 motion
http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2001/en/act/pub/0037/sec0140.html. Councillors can make representations to the technical planners or county manager, however they they are under no obligation to have regard to such representations. Therefore the councillors have very little power to influence applications. However councils are political entities and the manager often needs to call on the support of councillors for other issues such as approving budgets etc, in the interest of bonhomie the local councillors 2 cents worth is often entertained.
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