An Bord Pleanála to continue prioritising large-scale housing appeals

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An Bord Pleanála to continue prioritising large-scale housing appeals
An Bord Pleanála to continue prioritising large-scale housing appeals

An Bord Pleanála has said it will continue to prioritise large-scale housing appeals after its latest annual report showed it granted permission for more than 7,100 housing units and almost 4,500 student bed-spaces during 2018.In the annual report, which has been laid before the Oireachtas, ABP chair Dave Walsh said: “We expect a significant increase in housing applications in 2019, reflecting the ongoing demand for pre-application consultations. In the first five months of 2019, 41 valid applications have already been received and 23 formal decisions issued. We will continue to prioritise these cases and deal with any large-scale housing appeals expeditiously.”The report shows that last year the number of planning cases received increased by 6% to 2,734 and the total number of cases decided in 2018 was 2,847, a 32% increase on the previous year. By the end of the year the total number of cases on hands was 1,073, down from 1,189 in 2017.
Despite this progress, the total average number of weeks that it took to decide all planning cases in 2018 was 23.3 weeks, up from 18 weeks in 2017. The report outlined how last year 43% of all planning cases were decided within the statutory objective period compared to 64% in 2017.“Performance in 2018 was impacted by the transition to our new IT system (Plean-IT), an increase in case-load and reduced Board capacity during 2017,” it said.The number of appeals disposed of in 2018 was up significantly on the previous year at 2,158 – from 1,742 in 2017. The average number of weeks to decide planning appeals was just over 22 in 2018 – up from 17 weeks in 2017 – but ABP said work was continuing on clearing a backlog and that compliance rates had already improved month-by-month by the end of 2018.“For 2019, An Bord Pleanála has set a target to decide 60% – 70% of appeals cases within the statutory objective period, and has already returned the compliance rate to 59% by end of May 2019,” it said.The number of appeals received relating to multi-unit – comprising 30 or more units – residential developments decreased from 111 in 2017 to 65 in 2018. Last year, 74 appeals for developments of 30+ housing units were disposed of, including developments of more than 100 residential units which are now generally submitted as applications for Strategic Housing Development.
According to the annual report, 28,785 decisions were made by planning authorities of which 2,028 – or 7% – were appealed to An Bord Pleanála. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Dublin City Council, and Cork City Council had the highest levels of decisions appealed respectively at 15.9%, 15.4% and 12.6%.The Board decided its first strategic housing development application in January last year and a total of 44 applications were received during 2018 of which 39 were valid. The majority of applications decided were for developments in the Greater Dublin Area, with other applications in Cork and Galway and the Board granted permission, subject to conditions, in 27 cases for a total of 7,102 housing units – comprising 3,284 houses and 3,818 apartments – and 4,479 student bed spaces.Also last year, judicial review proceedings in relation to Board decisions and procedures were instituted in 41 cases and there were 22 substantive judgements in cases taken with 20 decisions of the Board upheld.Proceedings against An Bord Pleanála were discontinued, dismissed or withdrawn in 16 cases and the Board consented to the quashing of 10 of its orders where a procedural defect was identified.READ MOREIncrease in planning permissions granted for apartments
Source: Business News