Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022
Opinion in relation to application to Board
14. The Principal Act is amended by the insertion of the following sections after section 37C:
“Application for opinion under section 37CD
37CC. (1) A person who proposes to apply for permission for any development specified in the Seventh Schedule (referred to in this section and section 37CD as a ‘prospective applicant’) may request a meeting with the Board for the purposes of section 37CD as part of consultations referred to in section 37B(1).
(2) A request under subsection (1) shall be in writing, be accompanied by the appropriate fee and include—
(a) the name and address of the prospective applicant,
(b) a site location map sufficient to identify the land on which the proposed development would be situated,
(c) a brief description of the nature and purpose of the proposed development and of its possible effects on the environment,
(d) a draft layout plan of the proposed development,
(e) a description of—
(i) the details, or groups of details, of the proposed development that, owing to the circumstances set out in subparagraph (ii), are unlikely to be confirmed at the time of the proposed application, and
(ii) the circumstances relating to the proposed development, including such circumstances as the Minister may prescribe in relation to any class or description of development for the purposes of this subparagraph, that indicate that it is appropriate that the proposed application be made and decided, before the prospective applicant has confirmed the details referred to in subparagraph (i) including, in particular, whether the prospective applicant may be able to avail of technology available after making the proposed application that is more effective or more efficient than that available at the time of the application,
(f) an undertaking to provide with the proposed application, either—
(i) two or more options, in respect of each detail or group of details referred to in paragraph (e)(i), containing information on the basis of which the proposed application may be made and decided,
(ii) parameters within which each detail referred to in paragraph (e)(i) will fall and on the basis of which the proposed application may be made and decided, or
(iii) a combination of subparagraphs (i) and (ii),
(g) such other information, drawings or representations as the prospective applicant may wish to provide or make available, and
(h) such other information as may be prescribed.
(3) Where a prospective applicant submits a request in accordance with subsection (1) the Board shall convene a meeting for the purposes of section 37CD.
(4) The Minister may make regulations to provide for such matters of procedure and administration as appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of holding a meeting convened under subsection (3), including—
(a) matters that are required to be considered at the meeting,
(b) matters that may be considered at the meeting, and
(c) the manner in which the meeting is to be conducted.
Opinion as to flexibility with regard to certain applications
37CD. (1) The Board shall, as soon as practicable after a meeting convened under section 37CC(3) takes place, consider—
(a) the information included in the request for the meeting under section 37CC, and
(b) any other relevant information that is made available at the meeting,
and determine if it is satisfied that it is appropriate that the proposed application be made and decided before the prospective applicant has confirmed certain details of the application.
(2) Where the Board serves a notice under section 37B(4)(a) it shall, where it determines that it is satisfied in accordance with subsection (1), serve an opinion to that effect with such notice.
(3) Where the Board serves a notice under section 37B(4)(a) it shall, where it determines that it is not satisfied in accordance with subsection (1), notify the prospective applicant to that effect.
(4) An opinion under subsection (2) shall specify—
(a) the details, or groups of details, of the proposed development that may be confirmed after the proposed application has been made and decided,
(b) the circumstances relating to the proposed development that indicate that it is appropriate that the proposed application be made and decided before the prospective applicant has confirmed the details referred to in paragraph (a), and
(c) that, in respect of each detail, or group of details, referred to in paragraph (a), the proposed application shall, in addition to any other requirement imposed by or under this Act, be accompanied by the information referred to in section 37CC(2)(f).
(5) A meeting held, and any opinion issued, for the purposes of this section shall be part of consultations held under section 37B.
(6) An opinion issued by the Board under subsection (2) shall only be made public when a planning application in respect of the proposed development is made in accordance with section 37E.
(7) The Minister may make regulations to provide for such matters of procedure and administration as appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the Board providing an opinion under subsection (2), including the form of the opinion.
Offence of taking payment, etc. in connection with section 37CD procedure
37CE. A member or official of the Board who takes or seeks any favour, benefit or payment, direct or indirect (on his or her own behalf or on behalf of any other person or body), in connection with the provision of an opinion or notification under section 37CD commits an offence.”.