Kildare County Council: New Notice Regarding Quarries

Sections 74 and 75 of the Planning and Development Act (Amendment) Act 2010, was commenced on the 16/11/11 and inserted a new section 261A, into the Planning and Development Act 2000.  Section 261A contains new provisions in relation to the regulation of quarries. 

A new substitute consent procedure was legislated for, whereby projects requiring environmental impact assessment and appropriate assessment could apply for a form of retention – but this was necessarily limited to highly exceptional cases – e.g. a planning permission found defective by a court. 

The legislation provides that for a very limited period, quarries which had commenced prior to the inception of the planning system in 1964, or which had obtained a planning permission at some stage, would be permitted to apply for substitute consent for unauthorised development which was in breach of the EIA/Habitats Directives, without having to prove exceptional circumstances.  This would be conditional on such quarries having registered in 2004-2005 if required to do so.  These provisions are contained in the new section 261A. 

Section 261A also provides, however, that where a quarry was always unauthorised, i.e. it commenced on or after 1 October 1964 and never obtained planning permission, or it failed to register in 2004-2005 if required to do so, it will not be permitted to apply for substitute consent for unauthorised development which was in breach of the EIA/Habitats Directives, and instead an enforcement notice will be issued requiring the quarry to cease operation. 

Kildare County Council have now issued a notice stating their intention to examine every quarry in their administrative area to determine, in relation to that quarry, whether one or more than one of the following was required but was not carried out—

           i)      an environmental impact assessment;

        ii)      a determination as to whether an environmental impact assessment is required;

      iii)      an appropriate assessment.

Submissions can be made to the Council before the 25th January 2011.

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