Stage 1: Consultation with the Planning Authority (section 247)
Consultation with the Planning Authority has been in operation since the coming in to effect of the Planning & Development Act, 2000, as amended.
Such consultations have, heretofore, been discretionary and it was up to individual applicants to decide whether or not to avail of this service. Under the Act of 2016, these consultations are now mandatory for SHD applications and include a series of obligations for both the Planning Authority and prospective applicant.
Under the Act of 2016, the Planning Authority is required to facilitate a consultation meeting within 4 weeks of the date of the request for such a meeting.
To assist and inform the Planning Authority, a prospective applicant is now required (as per the Regulations of 2017) to submit information in respect of the proposal to the Planning Authority 2 weeks before the date of the consultation.
A Planning Authority is obliged to keep all records of section 247 consultation meetings and submit these to An Bord Pleanála when a Pre-Application request is made for a SHD under section 5(1) of the Act of 2016.
Where meetings are not facilitated by the Planning Authority or Authorities in whose area or areas the proposed development would be situated within 4 weeks of the date of the request, An Bord Pleanála shall not be precluded from dealing with a Pre-Application request submitted directly by the applicant.
Consultation with Prescribed Bodies
In addition to consultation with the Planning Authority, An Bord Pleanála would recommend that the prospective applicant consult with relevant prescribed bodies such as Irish Water and others as applicable.