As part of the statutory plan making process, members of the public have three opportunities to make a written submission or observation regarding the development plan.
At each stage of the plan preparation process, the planning authority will publish a statutory notice in one or more newspapers circulating in that area. The notice shall outline details relating to the plan and specify how and within what timeframe the submission should be made.
Firstly, during a pre-draft consultation period, prior to the preparation of a draft plan; secondly, during a draft plan public display period on completion and publication of the draft plan; and thirdly following the council members’ decision to make material amendments to the draft plan.
A planning authority may at any time, decide to make a variation to a City Development Plan. In this instance, written submissions or observations will be invited from all interested parties, by way of statutory notice.
Submissions for statutory area plans such as Local Area Plans can be made at the pre-draft consultation phase forming part of the preparation of the draft plan; and secondly, during the public display period of the draft plan. Written submissions or observations will be invited from all interested parties, by way of statutory notice in one or more newspapers circulating in that area.
In preparing non-statutory Area Action Plans, Cork City Council affords an opportunity for all interested parties to make a written submission/observation both at a pre-draft plan stage and public display period.
Regarding other non-statutory plans and studies, the Council shall invite written submissions/observations from the respective stakeholders and the public as deemed appropriate.
An applicant/developer who has an interest in land is entitled to consult the planning authority, prior to making an application. This is formalized under Section 247 of the Planning Act. The meeting is likely to be on a face-to-face basis between planning officials and the applicant/agent. A written record of detail of meeting must be retained on the public file in the interest of transparency.
Anybody with or without a direct interest in a particular development/application is entitled to make a written submission or objection to a Planning Authority within five weeks of the application date, accompanied by a €20 fee. All planning applications and decisions are listed on the Planning Register which is updated on a weekly basis, available to view online and in City Hall. When a planning decision is made by the Council, the objector or the applicant can appeal this decision to An Bord Pleanala, within four weeks of the decision date.