Differences between UK and Ireland Planning, Site Notices…

I didn’t think this topic would run into a mini-series but I got to thinking about the differences between the UK and Ireland systems (previous posts mentioned profile poles, septic tanks and ineffective Irish Building Control) but one of the most interesting differences is concerning site notices.

In Ireland, a site notice has to be erected at the site and published in an approved newspaper; the wording is stringent (interestingly the requirements for these two notices are different). Getting the wording slightly wrong (or not exactly how the planner would like!) resulted in an invalidation (even when the planning guidelines were adhered to). So ridiculous were the planning invalidations at one stage that the RIAI held a competition for the most stupid). Luckily things have improved (slightly) recently and invalidations (touch wood) are (personally) more infrequent. I’m not going to get into the depths of site notice wordings, colour, materials etc… in this post; suffice to say it took me a little while to love the vagaries of the Irish site notice system.

It is normally the architect that erects these notices but there are specialist companies that travel the company erecting and monitoring site notices (I wonder how these are doing post Celtic-Tiger). One of the things I now do to make sure I return to the correct field to erect the site notice (the site notice also needs to be marked on the drawings) is to send myself the GPS coordinates of where I am. Sounds ridiculous but it can be tricky to refind a location after following someone down hundreds of boreens to remote locations. Below is screen grab of the app I use:

SMS GPS

SMS GPS

You may also have seen me tweet my site notices that I’ve erected on sites, great handiwork with post, mdf and laminated sign (not). These site notices can’t come down during a specific planning period; had one that a storm took out, planner arrived – no sign, invalidation, back to start. TIP Therefore is to keep an eye on the sign !

Below is a pdf of a typical site notice that is used as part of Mayo’s online planning application; other Councils will require an original page from the newspaper with some councils (incorrectly) asking for additional copies.

planning_notice_WP

As far as I can remember (please correct me if wrong), in the UK, the Local Authority handles the publicity of the planning application with letters being sent to neighbours, applications published in newspapers/website etc… Some Local Authorities appear to undertake a similar system but interestingly whereas the rules are consistent across Ireland, different Local Authorities appear to handle this process in different ways in the UK. Feedback on this appreciated.

Comments as always welcome…

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