The Planning Process occurs within a legal environment where an uncontested Planning Permission Application takes 12 weeks from lodging to be processed by the local authority. As your appointed architect Michael B Doyle Architects (MBDA) will exercise reasonable skill and care and will act professionally in the provision of services to clients seeking to secure a planning permission. Considered and balanced advice will be provided regarding the prospects for the success of an application.
It should be noted that planning is a public matter and MBDA cannot assure the outcome of the process.
1. Two weeks from date of receipt of the planning application by the Local Authority
The application will be examined by the local authority and deemed to be either a valid submission or otherwise. Additional information may be requested by the local authority to supplement the submission. Valid applications are then forwarded to the planning officer appointed to the file. The officer, within 3 weeks, reviews the documentation and visits the site to appraise the proposal and context. He also checks to see that the site notice is in position. Sometimes an appointment to gain access to the subject site is requested – mostly not. The planning officer also has the power to deem an application invalid for reasons as he/she may determine. (See caveats below)
Clients are required to ensure the site notice remains in position and visible to the public for 5 weeks from date of application.
2. Five weeks and one day from date of receipt of the planning application by the local authority
At This point the Site Notice can and should be taken down. (If signs are in position over Christmas and New Year an extra week is added.) This is also the end of period within which objections/observations can be lodged by third parties (i.e. neighbours/general public). A neighbour/general public cannot object to the decision or conditions of the decision at a later stage if they have not made their representation in accordance with requirements within this 5 (6) week period. It can take several days for observations or/objections to be uploaded by the local authority to the publicly accessible online file where they can be read and evaluated. All submissions as may be received are then considered by the Local Authority in determining the outcome.
3. Eight weeks and one day from date of receipt of the planning application by the local authority
On or before this date a notification is issued by the local authority planning department advising either:
a) Notification of Intent to Grant Permission – With Conditions: Whereby, if no objection has been made by a neighbour/the public (during the first 5 weeks of process) the planning permission is effectively granted. If, however, a third party has made representation within the 5 week period then it is their prerogative if they feel strongly enough about the decision or the conditions, to make an appeal to An Bord Pleanála. Bord Pleanála is the planning appeals board. The first party/ client also can appeal the conditions of the decision to an Bord Pleanála.
b) Refusal of Permission – With Reasons: Whereby the application is refused for reasons provided: The first party/client can appeal the conditions of the decision or conditions to An Bord Pleanála (ABP). In due course third parties as involved will be circulated with copy of your appeal and can then comment as part of due process.
c) Request for Additional information (RFI): Whereby the planning clock stops until a response in writing is made by the applicant/his agent addressing the issues identified. In due course after receipt of the requested information the local authority has 4 weeks before the Local Authority issues a Notification/Decision.
4. Twelve weeks and one day from date of receipt of the planning application by the local authority
Four weeks after the date of decision (usually week 12) the Notification of Intent to Grant Permission effectively consolidates to become a Grant of Permission with Conditions unless the notification has by this time been appealed to An Bord Pleanála. Appeals can be by made by those who have made representation within the first five weeks of process. The applicant can also object to the conditions. The An Bord Pleanála process takes 3- 5 months from date of lodging, and sometimes longer, for a decision to be reached. The ABP decision when issued is final and binding.