29 Jan 2009

Well, the word on the street is that local authority planners are racing to sites the moment a planning application arrives across their desk to make sure that the notice has been posted. They are, of course, hoping that the notice hasn’t been posted so that the application can be invalidated thereby forcing the applicant to reapply. In addition to giving planners something to do, this little ruse has the additional advantage of falsifying planning application numbers: applicants who get caught out have to lodge the exact same application all over again so that what looks like two separate development proposals is really only one. 

Meanwhile, despite some local authorities’ claims that they are carrying out ‘over the counter validations’, what’s actually happening (in these days when you really have to wonder what’s making over-staffed planning offices so busy that they can’t validate planning applications on the spot) is that some local authorities are offering a ‘pre validation service’ during certain hours of the day, all the while reserving the right to invalidate the application three weeks later if the fancy strikes them.

But the news isn’t all bad. First, a very small and really inconsequential planning application which I was involved in (I wasn’t the main consultant on the job) in Limerick City was approved last week. It took only about two years. 

And second – do you remember that ad I tried to place in the regional newspapers a couple of months back asking people to contact me if they were getting shabby treatment from the local authority but which no paper would run because they depend on planning application classifieds for revenue and were afraid they’d be de-listed as an acceptable publication if they ran my ad? Well, it seems that one particular regional paper may be about to run the ad after all. Hopefully I’ll get some responses from people who aren’t afraid to publicly confirm some of the goings on in the Local Authority which falls within the circulation area of the same newspaper. 

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