This section deals with a variety of miscellaneous topics. For example it covers, renewable energy, development plans, protected structures, building control, development contribution levies, housing strategy and certificates of exemption, waste, guidelines, enforcement, tree felling, supplementary application forms number 2 and 3.
What types of Domestic Renewable Energy Systems are available?
There are various new technologies, which provide for more efficient heating of houses and save on energy costs. These include wood pellet burners, geothermal heatpumps, solar thermal panels, renewable electricity e.g. wind turbines. Further information on these and other systems is available on the Sustainable Energy of Ireland website; www.sei.ie. Under the Planning and Development Regulations 2007 – Micro Renewable Energy Technologies, some of these systems are exempt from requiring planning permission subject to compliance with certain conditions. Offaly Local Authorities are generally in favour of the use of renewable energy systems.
What Development Plans exist in the County?
The Development Plan for County Offaly 2009-2015 is made in accordance with the requirements of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended. The Plan consists of a written statement, accompanying maps and includes policies, strategies and objectives for the County at large and for specific settlements. The Plan pertains to the administrative area of County Offaly, excluding the towns of Tullamore and Birr. Separate Plans exist for Tullamore and Birr. The Development Plan for County Offaly is available to download here. A number of Local Area Plans, Town Plans, Village Plans and Sraid Plans exist.
What should I know about Protected Structures?
Where an application relates to a development which would consist of, or comprise the carrying out of works to a protected structure or proposed protected structure, the application should be accompanied by the following details which are recommended in the Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government:-
1. Drawings of elevations of the main features of any buildings within the curtilage of the Protected Structure which would be materially affected by the proposed development.
2. Photographs, plans and other particulars as are necessary to show how the development would affect the character of the structure.
3. Brief written statement describing and justifying the proposed works and the philosophy that informs their methodology.
4. Photographs sufficient to describe (i) the overall appearance of the exterior of the protected structure, including all exposed sides, its setting and its relationship with surrounding structures (ii) any interior spaces or features that it is proposed to change (iii) details of the exterior and interior sufficient to describe its character and materials of construction.
5. A Conservation Impact Statement from a qualified and experienced Conservation Architect, which should include a condition report on the protected structure.
What should I know about Building Control?
‘Building Control’ concerns for example how a dwelling house or changes to a dwelling house can be carried out in compliance to the Building Control Regulations 1997, e.g. in terms of ventilation, access for the disabled etc. These Regulations can be viewed on the website www.environ.ie. A document on ‘Building Control’ is included in the Planning Information Pack.
Do I have to pay a Development Contribution Levy?
Section 48 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 requires planning authorities to make a Development Contribution Scheme. Offaly Local Authorities made schemes under the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended.
A condition is attached to most permission requiring the payment of a contribution towards the cost of infrastructure, which benefits the area. The contribution rates, which will be subject to annual adjustment using the Wholesale Price Indices – Building and Construction Capital Goods published by the Central Statistics Offices are set out in the Development Contribution Schemes adopted by Offaly Local Authorities and can be viewed here. The contribution charges vary between the Offaly local authorities and between urban and rural.
The public Infrastructure and facilities covered by the development contribution scheme include the following:
- the acquisition of land,
- the provision of open spaces, recreational and community facilities and amenities and landscaping works,
- the provision of roads, car parks, car parking places, sewers, waste water and water treatment facilities, drains and water mains,
- the provision of bus corridors and lanes, bus interchanges facilities (car parks for those facilities), infrastructure to facilitate public transport, cycle and pedestrian facilities, and traffic calming measures,
- the refurbishment, upgrading, enlargement or replacement of roads, car parks, car parking places, sewers, waste water facilities, drains or water mains, and
- any matters ancillary to the above.
Offaly Local Authorities, may in addition to the terms of the General Development Contribution Scheme require the payment of a special contribution in respect of a particular development where specific exceptional costs not covered by a scheme are incurred in respect of public infrastructure and facilities which benefit the proposed development. In such cases the condition will specify the particular works carried out or proposed to be carried out by the Council.
Contributions are payable prior to commencement of developments.
What should I know about the Housing Strategy and Certificates of Exemption?
The Housing Strategy is concerned with social and affordable housing. An applicant may be liable to contribute towards providing social and affordable housing in certain situations. If the applicant is granted a Certificate of Exemption then they are not required to make this contribution. Additional information on the Housing Strategy and Certificate of Exemption are included in the Planning Information Pack.
How can I deal with Waste?
If the proposed development involves the disposal / reuse / recycle of construction or demolition waste then a Waste Management Plan including a site layout showing proposals for dealing with construction / demolition waste on and off site, should be submitted to the planning authority with your application. Regard should be had toBest Practice Guidelines on the Preparation of Waste Management Plans for Construction and Demolition projects by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Applicants should also be aware of the need to acquire a waste permit under the Waste Management Act 1996-2005. Further details are available from the Environment Department of Offaly Local Authorities.
What Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG) Guidelines are relevantwhen assessing PlanningApplications?
In assessing a planning application the Planning Authority has regard where necessary to a number of Guidelines as published by the DoEHLG for Planning Authorities. The relevant Guidelines published to date are listed in a document within the Planning Information Pack.
What is Planning Enforcement?
The Planning Authority, in accordance with the statutory requirements under the Planning and Development Acts, 2000-2006 will seek to secure compliance with planning controls and prevent unauthorised development.
Unauthorised development is where development is carried out without having received the appropriate planning permission or development not being carried out in compliance with the permission issued. The Planning Authority will monitor development in the County to check if planning conditions are complied with or if permission has been granted in the first instance. The Planning Authority will follow up on all written complaints of unauthorised development where they appear to be well founded. Declarations of Exempted Development will be issued by the Planning Authority, where applicable. Such applications should be accompanied by drawings of the development and the appropriate fee.
Under Section 37 of Forestry Act, with certain exceptions, it is illegal to uproot a tree over ten years of age or cut down a tree of any age unless notice of intention to do so has been given in accordance with the Forestry Act. If planning permission is issued in respect of an area located within the boundaries of a town, borough or city council area, then a felling licence is not required. However with very few exceptions, if it is proposed to fell trees anywhere else a licence is required from the Department of Agriculture and Food, irrespective of whether planning permission is held or not.
In addition to filling out the standard planning application form, an applicant for an industrial / commercial type of development will be required to also include a completed Supplementary Application Form no. 2 which relates to industrial / commercial developments. It is attached to the main planning application form within the Planning Information Pack.
In addition to filling out the standard planning application form, an applicant for an agricultural type of development will be required to also include a completed Supplementary Application Form no. 3 which relates agricultural developments. It is attached to the main planning application form within the Planning Information Pack.