Posts Tagged ‘extension of duration planning permission’

Extension of Duration of Planning Permission

February 19, 2014

I have been asked to comment on applications for extension of the life of a planning application, or to give it its formal title, extension of duration of the appropriate period.

Many people seem to be under the impression that this is a straight forward procedure whereby you simply fill out the application form, plea your case in terms of economic conditions, pay your €62 and the Council will rubber stamp the extension for another 5 years.

In fact the process is far more complicated than this and a positive result is certainly not guaranteed. Effectively the process involves a comparison of guidelines, policies and objectives between when the permission was granted and those in place now. If effect the applicant needs to:

– demonstrate that there have been no significant changes in the development objectives in the development plan or in regional development objectives in the regional planning guidelines since the date of the permission

– demonstrate that there have been no guidelines issued by the Minister after the date of the grant of permission that the development would contradict,

– establish if an environmental impact assessment, or an appropriate assessment, or both of those assessments, if required, was or were carried out before the permission was granted.

Simply filling out the relevant form means that the planners will make a decision based on their own interpretation of the facts. I would strongly advise that a planning consultant is brought in order to review the situation. It is imperative that a review of the guidelines, policies etc at the time of the decision is carried out and a review of the current guidelines, policies etc also carried out. Has there been any significant changes to development plan objectives? Have there been any changes in terms of national planning guidelines? Is the development likely to impact on a NATURA 2000 site.

From experience one of the main issues which arises is planning applications which have been granted in areas that are now within floodplains. This needs to be checked before any application is lodged to see what can be done. The application cannot be changed or altered but maybe a floor risk assessment might address the issue.

The amount of time for further information is limited to only 4 weeks so it is advised to be properly prepared before lodging rather than scrambling to get information together within such a tight timeframe.

One of the other big issues is to what level of detail do the planners go to in terms of undertaking a comparison of guidelines, policies etc. There are examples of relatively minor changes to objectives which have resulted in refusals of extensions which seems quite harsh. Other Councils tend to be more relaxed in their approach.

The key advice however is to be very careful in dealing with such applications and to ensure that the homework is done to identify any potential problems before applying.

I have also recently been involved in an extension of duration application that was refused but we advised to reapply under the basis of substantial development (following a burst of development) and the application was successful the second time around. The legislation and case law around what constitutes substantial is very interesting but that is another days work.

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