Banana Republic returns as Taoiseach publicly undermines planning laws and Tourism Minister is ready to travel to USA

It seems that the Taoiseach has deemed his role to include publicly undermining the planning laws by assisting some businesspeople who are dissatisfied with the impartial and lawful decisions of Dublin City Council.

And the Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar is bizarrely reported to be prepared to travel to the United States of America if required, presumably in order to meet with an American singer who has announced an ultimatum from across the Atlantic to Dublin City Council.

When the Taoiseach has finished with undermining the Garth Brooks concert decision, perhaps he might go through the weekly list of determined planning applications in each County, to identify further decisions that he can help to undermine.

There will be no shortage of disappointed planning law applicants who will want to avail of this new intervention service being provided by the Taoiseach. Here are four to start with, just from the past week or so in Dublin City Council, not including refusals to private individuals.

Perhaps the Taoiseach can talk to mediator Kieran Mulvey about these cases, and Mr Mulvey can embark on discussions with Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan, and Leo Varadkar can visit these businesses on his way to the airport to fly to America to meet Garth Brooks.

Four recent planning refusals by Dublin City Council

On 2 July, Capital Estates Management Ltd of Harcourt Street was refused retention permission for change of use from residential to guest house/hostel (planning application reference 2286/14). The primary reason given was that the development to be retained concerns the conversion and interconnection of several small residential properties, located in a very tight urban grain cheek by jowl with existing residences, to a large scale guest house/hostel. It is considered that this development by reason of its nature, scale and location represents an over intensive use of these properties and if permitted would have a detrimental effect on the amenities of the neighbouring residents by reason of noise, general disturbance and late night activities associated with this use.

On 3 July, Bank of Ireland on Lower Camden Street had an application declared invalid to replace existing signage with new signage (planning application reference 2974/14). The primary reason was that Question 2 must be completed correctly on planning application form. Also, The notices for the planning application do not comply with Articles 18, 19 (1) (A) or 22, of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 – 2012.The description is insufficient for the information of the public.

On 7 July, HMV Retail on Grafton Street was refused retention permission for replacement of existing signage (planning application reference 2683/14). The primary reason given was that, having regard to the building within a prominent location on Grafton Street and within an Architectural Conservation Area, the retention of the signage does not comply with the Dublin City Council Shopfront Guidelines 2001 and does not take adequate cognisance of the Grafton Street Scheme of Special Planning Control for Grafton Street and Environs where key objective 6 of the document seeks “to redress the decline in quality and presentation of buildings and shopfronts within the Grafton Street and Environs ACA.

On 7 July, DAB Property Investment Limited of Killarney Street was refused retention permission for change of use from two existing workshops to a one bed apartment and a two bed apartment. (planning application reference 2733/14). The primary reason given was that the proposed residential units, by virtue of a lack of private open space, being single aspect and by virtue of failing to meet minimum unit size requirements would be contrary to policy QH15 and would materially contravene section 17.9.1 of the Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017, and would consequently be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area and would set an undesirable precedent for similar forms of substandard development.

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6 Comments

  1. Ah in fairness Michael we look like a complete joke to the outside world. No matter what way you look at it, the whole thing is a farce.
    It shouldn’t of happened in the first place… the whole process was a mess.

    DCC shouldn’t of had to make the decisions, they had to make, under those pressures.

    Its very well to say the Taoiseach shouldn’t be interfering with the DCC process. But the reality is the whole thing was a botch job. The DCC decision is already undermined by the way the whole thing progressed and the pressures they were under from all sides.

    I think its fair enough for everyone to put their hand up and say… we made a mess of this from the start. Lets fix it now and make sure it never happens again. I would think that is what the Taoiseach is “trying to do”… and it would show Ireland in a much better light if we can do that.

  2. @joe – What do you suggest? Get rid of planning law? I mean, if this is acceptable, why have any planning restrictions? Build whatever, whenever, wherever and to hell with the begrudgers.

  3. Joe, it is the Taoiseach getting involved that is the main embarrassment for Ireland. Concerts regularly get cancelled around the world, for any number of reasons, and people generally just get on with their lives without Governments getting involved.

  4. Michael I agree.
    Ewan I was simply saying in this instance the planning law was broken. So no we shouldn’t get rid of it, just fix it.

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