Docklands Authority introduce Amendments to its Section 25 Planning Procedures
Following a recent High Court judgment in relation to the Section 25 certification process that governs granting of exempted development status in the Docklands area, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority has completed an assessment of its planning procedures and introduced a number of amendments to the Section 25 process.
The Docklands Authority accepts the court decision and is satisfied that the court judgment did not diminish either its statutory powers or its fast-track planning powers.
While extensive general public consultation is undertaken at the development stage of the Docklands Master Plan and Planning Schemes, the amendments to the Section 25 certification procedures allow for an additional level of consultation with property owners, residents and others with a property interest within the relevant Planning Scheme area or immediately adjacent to it during the Section 25 application process. In future, site notices will be posted on proposed development sites and observations and/or objections can be made by affected property owners at no cost in relation to that Section 25 planning application.
The Docklands Authority has planning responsibilities for specific areas of the Docklands known as Planning Scheme Areas which deliver on the objectives set down in the Docklands Master Plan. The preparation of the Docklands Master Plan and relevant Planning Schemes takes place over a 12 to 18 month period and involves extensive public consultation during that time.
A Planning Scheme sets out detailed policies for specific areas in relation to land use mix, urban design, heights, densities, amenities and transportation. The effect of this provision is to eliminate uncertainty for both local community and developers and minimise delay in respect of developments requiring major public and/or private investment, when compared to the normal planning process.
Applications for developments which comply with the relevant Planning Scheme area are granted a Section 25 Certificate as exempted development. Currently these Planning Scheme areas include the Custom House Dock (IFSC) Planning Scheme; the Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme; and the North Lotts Planning Scheme. A fourth Planning Scheme for the Poolbeg Peninsula area is currently at preparation stage.
Section 25 exempted development certificates have facilitated the development of the Docklands area since the inception of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority in 1997. Over the last ten years, the Docklands Authority has overseen the successful development of a world class 520-acre economic hub in the Dublin Docklands that is unrivalled in the rest of Europe and currently employs close to 40,000 people and, in addition, has attracted over €5 billion of public and private investment.
Over 500,000 m2 of commercial development and 2,000 residential units have been certified since 1997 including major developments such as the Point Village, the Convention Centre, Grand Canal Square and The O2 which is due to open in December. Over the past few years, major financial and legal services companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers, HSBC Bank, McCann FitzGerald and Matheson Ormsby Prentice have taken up space and brought thousands of jobs to the Docklands area.
The review of planning procedures was prepared with advice from Grant Thornton, Tom Philips & Associates Planning Consultants, and solicitors, A&L Goodbody. Applicants can contact the Docklands Planning Department for more information on the revised planning procedures which are available on the Docklands website at www.dublindocklands.ie . Briefing sessions will also be available for interested parties.
For further information please visit www.dublindocklands.ie or contact:
Loretta Lambkin, Docklands Authority, 01 818 3300 email@example.com
Sheila Gahan WHPR Tel 669 0030 or 087 234 2409 Sheila.Gahan@ogilvy.com