Westmeath County Council
11th May 2020
Planning Time Period Adjustments during the Covid 19 Pandemic
In the context of the most up-to-date public health advice during this COVID-19 Emergency, the Government has introduced a further (third) suspension of all time periods associated with statutory processes under the Planning and Development Acts.
This means that time periodsspecified for any statutory planning process under these Acts and related planning and building control legislation are disregarded, which means that they are, in effect, extendedfor the period from Sunday 29 March 2020 (date of original Order) to Saturday 23 May 2020 inclusive i.e. 56 days or a total period of 8 weeks. This period may be further extended by Order of the Minister.
Please note that the Planning Service at Westmeath County Council continues to operate to the maximum extent possible during this time and every effort is being made to ensure that services are available as normal. Preparation is also ongoing at a national level to ensure that sufficient measures will be in place to enable public participation in the planning process to recommence in accordance with planning legislation.
Draft Westmeath County Development Plan 2021-2027
The public consultation period for submissions and observations to the Draft Westmeath County Development Plan 2021-2027, available at https://consult.westmeathcoco.ie/en, has also been extended by a total of 56 days or until such time as the Minister determines.
You can now make submissions to the Draft Development Plan in writing up until 5.00pm on 30 June 2020.
What does this mean for processing planning applications?
The Planning Authority normally has a period of eight weeks to determine a planning application.
There is now an additional period of 56 days i.e. up to sixteen weeks in total to determine a planning application.
The exact calculation of the extended time period will depend on the date a planning application is submitted and the stage of the process it is at, with further details set out below.
Planning Applications submitted after 21 February and prior to 29 March 2020
Any planning application that was submitted to a planning authority less than five weeks prior to the date of commencement of the Order, i.e. after Friday 21 February 2020, cannot be decided by the Planning Authority until after Saturday 23 May 2020 to ensure that the public participation element has been completed (or as further extended).
Planning Applications Submitted after 29th March 2020
Any planning application submitted to a planning authority after 29 March 2020 (the date of commencement of the original Order) cannot be decided by the Planning Authority until the five-week period for public consultation on the application has been completed, and this cannot be until the expiry of the duration of the further extended Order (Saturday 23 May) plus at least five weeks i.e. after Saturday 27 June 2020.
As such the period for deciding any such applications is now up until Saturday 18 July 2020.
Can I make a submission on a planning application during the period of the Extended Order?
Any interested person will have the normal period of five weeks, together with an additional period of up to eight weeks i.e. up to thirteen weeks in total, to participate in the planning process. In the case of all applications made within the duration of the extended Order, submissions may also be made for a further five-week period, to Saturday 27June 2020.
Should Site Notices be maintained on site during the period of the Extended Order?
Yes, site notices for all planning applications submitted after 21st February 2020, should be maintained on site during the period covered by the extended Order under Section 251A.
Planning applications submitted prior to 29th March 2020
For planning applications submitted prior to 29th March 2020, site notices must be maintained on site for the unexpired period of the initial five-week consultation period that remains after 23 May 2020.
Planning applications submitted after 29th March 2020
For planning applications submitted after 29 March 2020 during the period covered by the further extended Order, site notices must be maintained on site for five-weeks after 23May 2020 i.e. until 27June 2020.
These dates are subject to review and change to take account of public health recommendations.
Can Planning Applications still be made during the period of the Order?
Yes, planning applications may be posted to the Municipal District Offices or submitted by appointment.
Can I make an appeal to An Bord Pleanála during the period of the Order?
Yes – Seehttp://www.pleanala.ie/ for details associated with the submission of appeals.
The four-week period in which the appeal may be made from the date of the Planning Authority’s decision is extended by 56 days.
The calculation of the final appeal date in each case will depend on the period of duration of the normal four-week appeal period remaining on the date of cessation of the further extended Order.
Can I make arrange a Pre-Planning meeting during the period of the Order?
Yes – Pre-Planning services are still available in Westmeath County Council by telephone and electronic means.
For further detail please visit:
Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 12/05/2020