Requirements for Applicants Prior to Making a SHD Application
The Act of 2016 and the Regulations of 2017 require that applicants fulfil certain requirements prior to making an application under section 4. The applicant is required to have:
The applicant is referred to the document ‘Strategic Housing Development Pre-Application Consultation Guidance for Prospective Applicants’ with regard to section 247 consultations with the Planning Authority and section 6(7) Opinions of An Bord Pleanála.
Note Regarding Section 7 of the Act of 2016
The applicant may also make a request to An Bord Pleanála for an EIA / AA screening determination / scoping opinion under section 7 of the Act of 2016. Such requests are discretionary and are not a mandatory part of the SHD pre-application process. However, once the applicant has made a request under section 7, no SHD application can be lodged until An Bord Pleanála has issued the relevant determination / opinion.
Material Contravention of the Development Plan
Under section 3 of the Act of 2016, which provides a definition for SHD, it is clear that where a proposed development materially contravenes the relevant development plan or local area plan in relation to the zoning of land, then it does not constitute a strategic housing development and the provisions of the Act of 2016 do not apply. However, this exclusion from SHD provisions relates only in the relation to zoning and the Act provides that the Board may grant permission for a SHD proposal even where it would materially contravene the relevant development plan other than in relation to the zoning of land (section 5(6)).
In addition, where specific planning policy requirements of the relevant development plan differ from those set out in section 28 Guidelines, then the section 28 Guidelines shall, to the extent that they so differ, apply instead of the provisions of the development plan.
Section 8(1) of the Act of 2016 and article 294 of the Regulations of 2017 require the applicant to publish a notice in one or more newspapers circulating in the area of the application site prior to making a SHD application. The newspaper notice is to indicate the following:
- The location and a brief outline of the proposed development including the number of proposed houses or student accommodation units and, in the case of student accommodation units, the combined number of bedspaces and any other uses to which those units may be put.
- That permission is being sought from An Bord Pleanála for the proposed development.
- The times and places, including the offices of An Bord Pleanála and the offices of the relevant Planning Authority and the period of 5 weeks from the receipt by the Board of the application during which a copy of the application and any EIS or NIS may be inspected free of charge or purchased on payment of a specified fee.
- That the application contains a statement setting out how the proposal would be consistent with the objectives of the relevant development plan or local area plan and, where the proposed development materially contravenes the said plan other than in relation to the zoning of land, indicating why permission should, nonetheless, be granted having regard to a consideration specified in section 37(2)(b) of the Act of 2000.
- That in the case of an application that requires an EIS or NIS, that same has been prepared in respect of the proposed development.
- Where relevant, that the proposed development is likely to have significant effects on the environment of a Member State of the European Union or a state that is a party to the Transboundary Convention and inviting the making, during the relevant 5 week period, of submissions and observations to An Bord Pleanála relating to:
- the implications of the proposed development, if carried out, for proper planning and sustainable development in the area or areas concerned, and
- the likely effects on the environment or the likely effects on a European site, as the case may be, of the proposed development, if carried out,
- The types of decision the Board may make, under section 9 of the Act of 2016 in relation to the application.
- That a person may question the validity of a decision of the Board by way of an application for judicial review, under Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No. 15 of 1986), in accordance with sections 50 and 50A of the Act of 2000, and stating where practical information on the review mechanism can be found.
Article 292 of the Regulations of 2017 requires the applicant to erect a site notice not later than the day of publication of the newspaper notice. The site notice is to comply with the following requirements:
- The notice is to be inscribed or printed in indelible ink on a white background, affixed on rigid, durable material and secured against damage from bad weather and other causes. The notice shall be inscribed or printed in indelible ink on a yellow background where the subject SHD application is made within 6 months from the date of the making of a valid application under section 34 of the Act of 2000 or section 4 of the Act of 2016 in respect of the same land or structure.
- The notice is to be securely erected or fixed in a conspicuous position on or near the main entrance to the land or structure concerned from a public road, or where there is more than one entrance from public roads, on or near all such entrances, or on any other part of the land or structure adjoining a public road, so as to be easily visible and legible by persons using the public road, and shall not be obscured or concealed at any time.
- Where the land or structure to which an application relates does not adjoin a public road, a site notice shall be erected or fixed in a conspicuous position on the land or structure so as to be easily visible and legible by persons outside the land or structure, and shall not be obscured or concealed at any time.
- Where An Bord Pleanála considers that the erection or fixing of a single site notice is not sufficient to comply with the above requirements, or does not adequately inform the public, it may require the applicant to erect or fix such further site notice or notices in such a manner and in such terms as it may specify and to submit such evidence as it may specify in relation to compliance with any such requirements.
- The site notice shall be maintained in position on the land or structure concerned for a period of at least 5 weeks from the date of receipt of the application for permission by An Bord Pleanála, shall be renewed or replaced if it is removed or becomes defaced or illegible within that period and shall be removed by the applicant following the notification of the Board’s decision under section 9 of the Act of 2016, as required by article 293 of the Regulations of 2017.
Notification of Planning Authority
The applicant is required to send 6 printed copies of the application and one copy of the application in a machine readable form on a digital device, along with any EIS or NIS, to the relevant Planning Authority, before making the SHD application to An Bord Pleanála, as required under section 8(1)(b)(i) of the Act of 2016 and article 297(6) of the Regulations of 2017.
Notification of Prescribed Authorities
An Bord Pleanála is required under article 285(5)(a) of the Regulations of 2017 to inform the applicant at the conclusion of the Pre-Application Consultation process of the relevant prescribed authorities to be notified prior to the making of the SHD application.
The applicant is required under section 8(1)(b)(ii) of the Act of 2016 to send a copy of the application and of any EIS or NIS in both printed and electronic form to the prescribed authorities, accompanied by a notice stating that submissions or observations may be made in writing to An Bord Pleanála during the relevant 5 week period in relation to:
- the implications of that proposed development, if carried out, for proper planning and sustainable development in the area or areas concerned, and
- the likely effects on the environment or the likely effects on a European site, as the case may be, of that proposed development, if carried out.
The notice is to indicate the types of decision the Board may make in relation to the application, as required under article 295(3) of the Regulations of 2017.
In the case that the proposed SHD is likely to have significant effects on the environment of a Member State of the European Union or a state that is a party to the Transboundary Convention, the applicant is required under section 8(1)(c) of the Act of 2016 and article 296 of the Regulations of 2017 to send one copy of the application and the EIS, along with electronic copies of same, to the prescribed authority of the relevant state or states together with a notice stating that submissions or observations may be made to An Bord Pleanála during the relevant 5 week period.