Yes. Its validity may only be challenged by way of judicial review in the High Court within 8 weeks. The Court will not re-open the planning merits of the case and may only give leave to pursue the review process where it is satisfied that there are substantial grounds for contending that the Board's decision is invalid or ought to be quashed and that the person seeking the judicial review has a substantial interest in the matter.
23. Can the Board dismiss appeals?
Yes. The Board has discretion to dismiss an appeal where it is satisfied the appeal is vexatious, frivolous or without substance or foundation or where the appeal is made with the sole intention of delaying development or of securing the payment of money, gifts, considerations or other inducement by any persons. The Board can also declare a planning application or an appeal withdrawn where it is satisfied it has been abandoned.
24. Can I withdraw my appeal?
Yes. An appeal can be withdrawn by an appellant and the planning application can be withdrawn by the applicant at any time prior to the determination of the case by the Board. Where an appeal is withdrawn (or all the appeals where there is more than one), the original decision of the planning authority takes effect. Where the planning application is withdrawn by the applicant, no permission can be granted by the planning authority in relation to the application.
25. How strict are the time limits?
So that the Board can determine appeals generally within 18 weeks, all the time limits are very strict and the Board has no discretion to extend the dates. This applies to the lodging of appeals, submission of comments by parties, the making of submissions and observations to the Board by “observers” and others and, where invited by the Board, to additional submissions.
26. What if the offices of the Board are closed on the last day allowed?
When the last date for receipt of an appeal or other material falls on a weekend, public holiday or other day when the offices of the Board are closed, the latest date for receipt will be the next day on which the offices of the Board are open.
27. What if the period for making an appeal falls over the Christmas or New Year?
The period from 24th December to 1st January inclusive (i.e. 9 days) is excluded for the purposes of calculation of all periods of time in relation to planning appeals. Therefore, if the period for making an appeal falls between 24th December to 1st January (both dates inclusive), the last day for making the appeal is extended. So, for example, if the last day of the four-week period falls on 24th December, the last day for making an appeal is 2nd January, and if the last day of the four-week period falls on 29th December, the last day for making an appeal is 7th January.
The exclusion of the Christmas/New Year period also applies to any other matter in relation to an appeal where a time period is specified. So, if the last day of the 18-week statutory objective period within which the Board should decide an appeal falls within the Christmas/New Year period, the period is extended by an appropriate number of days.
28. Can the Board’s documents be inspected and purchased?
Files on appeals can be inspected by members of the public after the appeals are determined by the Board. These files can be inspected free of charge at the Board's offices on weekdays between 10 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. - 4.30 p.m., except on public holidays and other days on which the offices are closed. Copies of any documents on these files can be purchased at the Board's offices during these hours for the reasonable cost of copying the documents. Further details concerning inspection and purchase of documents etc., are available from the Board and on its website, www.pleanala.ie
29. Can I apply to the Board for leave to appeal a decision of a planning authority? (See also answers to questions 2 and 3).
A person with an interest in land adjoining the application site (e.g. a landowner/occupier) who did not make submissions or observations to the planning authority in relation to the planning application may apply to the Board for leave to appeal the decision of the planning authority within four weeks of the decision of the authority to grant permission. The Board may grant leave to appeal where the person shows that the decision of the planning authority to grant permission differs materially from the application because of the conditions imposed and the conditions imposed will materially affect his/her enjoyment of the land or reduce the value of the land.
Like a planning appeal, the person seeking leave to appeal must state his/her name and address, the grounds on which he/she is basing the leave to appeal (see above), a description of his/her interest in the land and the correct fee.
Where a person is granted leave to appeal, the planning appeal must be received by the Board within two weeks of him/her receiving notification of leave to appeal and must otherwise comply with the requirements for lodging the planning appeal (see questions 4 and 5) including a further fee. Details of fees are available from the Board or your local planning authority.
30. Can I refer the planning authority’s refusal to deal with a second planning application to the Board?
Where a decision of a planning authority in relation to a planning application is on appeal to the Board, a second application for the same development or development of the same description may not be made to the planning authority. Where a dispute arises as to whether an application is for the same development or development of the same description, the matter may be referred to the Board for a determination.
31. Are appeal fees likely to change?
Under the 2000 Planning Act, the Board is required to review the level of fees payable to it for making appeals, referrals, applications for leave to appeal, submissions or observations and oral hearing requests at least every 3 years. You should always check the latest position to ensure that you know the current applicable fee.