Rise in planning appeals 'reflects an increase in building activity'
Published 10/08/2016 | 02:30
More than half of all appeals made to An Bord Pleanála relate to the development of new homes.
The planning appeals board says that 985 cases were taken last year after local authorities approved or rejected applications to construct houses and apartments.
One in six of all planning decisions taken by Dublin City Council, or 15.6pc, is subject to an appeal, the board's annual report says. There are also high rates of appeal in Cork City (12.4pc of all cases), Dún Laoghaire Rathdown (11.9pc) and in Fingal and South Dublin (11.2pc).
It also said that the number of cases received by the board last year was up 9pc on 2014, which reflected an increase in construction activity. In the first five months of this year, cases are up 21pc.
Chairperson Dr Mary Kelly said that priority was given to process planning applications of 30 housing units or more, and that systems were being put in place to allow developers utilise a fast-track planning process where the board would decide on applications of 100 or more homes.
This measure, which bypasses local authorities, forms part of the Government's housing strategy aimed at boosting supply.
Some 83pc of appeals were disposed of within the target of 18 weeks, and it now takes an average of 15 weeks to decide an appeal, down from 16 weeks in 2014.
Last year, some 1,979 cases were dealt with. This compares with 6,664 at the height of the construction boom in 2007. Of the 1,646 so-called 'normal' appeals, the vast bulk - 985 - were residential. The number of appeals for housing developments "remained low", with just 60 cases of 30 or more units in 2015 compared with 568 in 2007.