9 Jan 2009

A consultant who lodged a planning application on a commercial/infrastructure project not too far from Dublin was refused permission because the dimensions of a ventilation grille as shown on plan were 6mm different from how they were depicted on section. Part of me hopes this didn’t really happen, part of me knows that it did - if not on that particular telecom application in Wicklow, then probably somewhere else.

… which leads me to think that, with planning applications around the country down to a trickle, there may be something to your suggestions that some local authority planners have a dose of the blue flu. For example, after all the criticisms last year about the dunderheaded way in which local authorities send planning applications to Galway for scanning before validating them, it turns out that Clare County Council is STILL at it. In other words, the planners in Clare County Council are prepared, in this day and age, to waste tax payers’ money by sending bulky packages around the country for an expensive scanning procedure before deciding that the material wasn’t worth scanning in the first place.

Which, of course, begs the question why planning offices don’t just accept electronic submissions as they do in other parts of the world? The answer, according to Paul Lee, is as follows:

'Many public servants can't open pdf attachments because their trusty IT departments tell them they are too dangerous. Or is it because things would have to move more quickly and efficiently if planners could actually read drawings of preliminary proposals emailed to them?

This problem is endemic across the public sector, who are still fixated on the use of that ancient Egyptian technology: Snail Mail

I am reliably informed by an IT consultant that he has never heard of an infected pdf file.'

Meanwhile, I promise I’m not forgetting about the Ballymun Regeneration Euromillions Overrun. The report on how that project spun completely out of control was due last September. From what I can see it never showed up on the internet. Various emails from various interested parties to various other interested parties have gone unanswered. If any of you have a spare moment (and, lets face it, which of us doesn't these days) you might send a quick email to Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Bernard Allen bernard.allen@finegael.ie  to see what’s going on.

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