The Board's considerations when determining an application
The Board makes decisions on Strategic infrastructure development applications in a similar way to other cases such as planning appeals. Therefore, the Board considers:
- the proper planning and sustainable development of the area
- the effects, if any, the proposed development would have on the environment
- the effects, if any, the proposed development would have on a European site where applicable
- the policies and objectives of the local development plan(s),
- Ministerial planning guidelines,
- regional spatial and economic strategy,
- the National Planning Framework,
- the policies and objectives of the Government,
- the national interest,
- the application,
- any further information received following a request from the Board,
- the EIAR, if applicable,
- the NIS, if applicable,
- any observations or submissions made to the Board about the application,
- the report of the local planning authority(s),
- ncluding any recommendations submitted by the elected members of the authority, and
- the report and recommendation of the Board's inspector on the application
- the information received at the oral hearing.
Material contravention of a local development plan
The Board will consider the policies and objectives of the local development plan when making its decision. If the application covers more than one local authority area, the Board will consider all the relevant local development plans. However, the Board has the power not to follow a part of these development plans depending on the circumstances of the case. This is called a material contravention.
The inspector’s recommendation
On each case, an inspector will prepare a report and recommendation for the Board. The Board must consider the inspector’s report and recommendation. However, the Board is not required to accept the inspector’s recommendation and has the power to decide something different from what the inspector has recommended.
In any case where the Board does not accept the inspector’s recommendation to grant or refuse, the Board will state the reason for not accepting the recommendation. Sometimes the Board may accept the general recommendation such to grant or refuse permission, but can:
- decide to change or remove parts of the proposed development,
- change one, some or all of the conditions to be attached to the grant of permission, or
- change the reasons for a refusal.
The timeframe to make a decision
The Board has a statutory objective to determine strategic infrastructure cases within eighteen weeks. This eighteen-week periods starts on the last day for An Bord Pleanála to receive observations from the public. The eighteen-week period includes the period in which an oral hearing may take place. The period also includes any request for further information or a revised EIAR or NIS.
When it is not possible or appropriate for the Board to make a decision on the case within the eighteen-week time frame, we will write to all participants in the case and give a revised date when the Board plans to make a decision.
Notification of the Board decision
We will write a letter to all participants in the case to inform them of the Board's decision. This letter will be sent by post. The decision will also be available on our website www.pleanala.ie