Pre-planning discussions

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    • #708763
      Coexist
      Participant

      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?

      The reason I ask is that my LA specifies that a Pre-Planning Discussions Form must be filled out and submitted prior to any consultation and afterwards a Reference No. which must be stated on the Application Form is supplied. If this number is omitteed from an application form will it make it an invalid application?

      Any advice on this one most appreciated, thanks all.

    • #780705
      kite
      Participant

      @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?

      The reason I ask is that my LA specifies that a Pre-Planning Discussions Form must be filled out and submitted prior to any consultation and afterwards a Reference No. which must be stated on the Application Form is supplied. If this number is omitteed from an application form will it make it an invalid application?

      Any advice on this one most appreciated, thanks all.

      Under Section 247 of the P&D Act all LA’s are legally obliged to keep a copy of pre-planning discussions and these must be made available to the public. Any deviation from this could lead to an invalid application.
      Hope this info is of some use?

    • #780706
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @kite wrote:

      Under Section 247 of the P&D Act all LA’s are legally obliged to keep a copy of pre-planning discussions and these must be made available to the public. Any deviation from this could lead to an invalid application.
      Hope this info is of some use?

      There is no obligation on the applicant to engage in preapplication discussions with the planning authority.

      The applicant may ask for advice on policy and procedure and that advice may not be unreasonably withheld by the planning authority [Subsection 247 (1)].

      The planning authority may choose when and where the consultations take place [Subsection 247 (4)].

      If such discussions take place there is an obligation on the planning authority to keep a record of the discussions as part of the planning file [Subsection 247 (5)]. Needless to say this is an obligation which is more honoured in the breach than in the observance.

      If the application goes to appeal you may ask the Board to require the planning authority to produce the minutes of the meetings. However there appears to be no sanction on the planning authority if they fail to do so.

      In my opinion the application could not be considered to be invalid due to a failure on the part of the planning authority to record the preapplication discussions.

    • #780707
      mulp
      Participant
      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.

    • #780708
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @mulp wrote:

      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.

      From a legal perspective the operative plan is the plan in force at the time the decision is taken, not the one that was in force at the time the application was made.

    • #780709
      Coexist
      Participant

      Under Section 247 of the P&D Act all LA’s are legally obliged to keep a copy of pre-planning discussions and these must be made available to the public. Any deviation from this could lead to an invalid application.
      Hope this info is of some use?

      Basically I’m curious to learn if no reference was made to a pre-planning consultation on the application form, even though according to a large section of wording in the appeal to An Bord Pleanala such a consultation obviously took place how ought I to address this to my local authority or is it all merely a matter of hearsay? Surely, secret meetings cannot be engaged in at this level.

      According to the Appeal I have no doubt that such a consultation occurred and although I checked and rechecked the application, there is no record whatsoever of such a meeting, This is very sinister indeed. Can I query my L.A.on this or is there anyway that this may be of interest to An Boad Pleanala?

      Thanks again.

    • #780710
      kite
      Participant

      @Coexist wrote:

      Basically I’m curious to learn if no reference was made to a pre-planning consultation on the application form, even though according to a large section of wording in the appeal to An Bord Pleanala such a consultation obviously took place how ought I to address this to my local authority or is it all merely a matter of hearsay? Surely, secret meetings cannot be engaged in at this level.

      According to the Appeal I have no doubt that such a consultation occurred and although I checked and rechecked the application, there is no record whatsoever of such a meeting, This is very sinister indeed. Can I query my L.A.on this or is there anyway that this may be of interest to An Boad Pleanala?

      Thanks again.

      😉 If there are no files relating to pre-planning meetings between the LA and the developer (and you say they do exist) you should mention this fact to ABP as the planning laws would have been broken.
      If ABP do their job properly the have to take this into account.

      Planning and Development Act 2000
      Section 247.
      (5) The planning authority shall keep a record in writing of any consultations under this section that relate to a proposed development, including the names of those who participated in the consultations, and a copy of such record shall be placed and kept with the documents to which any planning application in respect of the proposed development relates.

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