20 Jul 2007

In Dispatch No 10, I told you about a project I was involved in where the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government had lodged an appeal to An Bord Planala which, essentially, scuppered the much needed restoration of a listed building. The Department’s appeal was completely out of the blue – everyone involved in the project, including the local council, were very proud of it and expected it to go ahead. I personally was very disturbed to discover that the Department official who had brought the appeal to An Bord did so without first having visited the site. 

If you’re interested in what happened next, you might want to go back to Dispatch 10 and reread the article before following the link…

This is the response I finally recieved from the Minister's people:


I sent this out by return post:


I refer to my correspondence of April 4th last (copy attached) to your predecessor, Mr. Dick Roche, in relation to a planning application with which I was personally involved as well as a response dated July 17th, 2007, from your private secretary Mr. Eddie Kiernan. 

I’m afraid I must differ with Mr. Kiernan’s assertion that it is ‘not possible to comment further’ on questions raised in my previous correspondence. He is incorrect in stating that the questions referred to are in the context of a specific planning application and, therefore, cannot be addressed.

Any reasonable reading of my letter would suggest that the questions which I previously raised clearly apply to general procedures taken by your department in deciding whether or not to appeal a planning decision on a Protected Structure to an Bord Planala. The fact that I mentioned a specific case in my first letter was obviously to set an overall context.

Therefore, I would be obliged if you would revisit the matter again and answer what I believe to be perfectly straightforward questions for which I have the right to know the answers.

I might also ask that given that it took more than three months for your assistant to respond to me with a letter so lacking in content I can’t imagine it taking more than minutes to write, you might either have your assistant reply more promptly next time or else use the three month period to compose an answer giving the appearance, at least, of having taken three months to consider.
Yours faithfully,  

Garry Miley, B.Arch., M.U.B.C., M.R.I.A.I.

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