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Guidance on Pre-Planning Meetings in Light of Covid-19

In the context of the most up-to-date public health advice during this COVID-19 Emergency, the Government has introduced a suspension of all time periods associated with statutory processes under the Planning and Development Acts. This includes the timeframes associated with the holding of pre-planning meetings.

Notwithstanding this suspension, the Planning Service at Westmeath County Council continues to operate during this time and every effort is being made to ensure continuity of services as normal for:

• the submission of planning applications,
• pre-planning requests via phone or conference facilities
• the viewing of applications online
• the placing of submissions and observations on planning files.

With regards to pre-planning meetings during this time, the Planning Authority staff will continue to engage with applicants and their representatives as follows:

Pre-planning meetings in relation to single dwellings or small-scale developments

In such instances, the Applicant and/or their Agent should complete the relevant preplanning request form as normal (available online at https://www.westmeathcoco.ie/en/ourservices/planning/planningapplications/beforeyouapply/).

The application should be submitted by email or by post together with the following details:

- Site Location Map at a scale of 1:2500
- Site Layout Map
- Sketch of the proposed development
- An indication of any areas for concern envisaged in relation to the proposal as submitted.

By email: planning@westmeathcoco.ie

By post: Mullingar Municipal District, Áras An Chontae, Mount Street, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, N91 FH4N
Athlone Municipal District, Civic Centre, Church Street, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 P2T5

On receipt of the completed documentation by the Planning Authority, the Area Planner will review same within two weeks and thereafter will contact the Applicant/Agent via telephone or email and provide feedback on the proposal. A record of the telephone conservation and/or email correspondence shall be made and entered onto the Iplan Pre-planning system.

Pre-planning meetings in relation to large-scale developments including Strategic Housing Development Applications

In such instances, the relevant pre-planning request form shall be completed and forwarded to the Council with the following details:

- Site Location Map at a scale of 1:2500
- Site Layout Map
- Indicative plans /sketches of the proposal
- An indication of Local Authority personnel required to be in attendance at the meeting.

The above details are to be emailed to planning@westmeathcoco.ie for the attention of Central Planning. It should be noted that emails should not exceed 25MB in size.

On receipt of the application, Central Planning will review the documentation, circulate to relevant personnel within the Council and coordinate a multi-disciplinary meeting with the Applicant, their agent and WCC personnel. This meeting will be facilitated using GoToMeetings or other conferencing platform. A minute of the meeting will be recorded and uploaded to the Iplan preplanning system.

Recommencement of Face to Face Pre-Planning Meetings

Face to face preplanning meetings should recommence in line with Department of Housing Planning and Local Government Guidance.

On 16th April 2020, the Government made an Order under section 251A(4) of the Planning & Development Act 2000 (as amended) extending the duration of all relevant periods and timelines specified in planning legislation up to and including 9 May 2020.

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 22/04/2020