As a result of my motion to the Area Cttee., Fingal County Council have referred the question of the planning status of Howth Junction station to An Bord Pleanála. I made a submission to the Board in relation to it today. I have also put a copy of the referral below.
Cllr David Healy
Green Party/Comhaontas Glas
Howth ward / Ceantar Bhinn Éadair
54, Páirc Éabhóra,
An Bord Pleanála,
Re: Section 5 referral RL2580, Howth Junction railway station
I refer to the above reference and wish to make the following points:
Fingal County Council’s Planning Department formed the opinion that “Class 23 … clearly exempts works carried out within the grounds of [a] railway station.”
In fact the exemption under Class 23(a) of the clearly refers not to works within the grounds of a railway station, but to works “wholly within the interior of a railway station.”
The only logical construction that can be put on the reference to the interior of a railway station is that the reference to a railway station is to the building in question, as there it makes so sense to refer to the interior of a piece of land. Therefore what is described as the construction of a new station cannot be exempted on this basis.
For the record I am particularly concerned and unhappy about the development as built for two reasons:
• The blocking off of wheelchair/mobility impaired access to the station from the Fás centre and Baldoyle Industrial Estate (notwithstanding the conditions of Dublin City Council’s permission 2089/03)
• The very poor environment offered by the station to all those using it.
I enclose the required €50 fee.
Referral from Fingal Co. Co.
6th October, 2008
An Bord Pleanála,
Re: Referral pursuant to Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000.
A planning application was made to Dublin City Council by Iarnród Éireann on 7th May, 2003 for development and upgrading works at Howth Junction DART Station, off St. Donagh’s Road, Kilbarrack, Dublin 5. The works consist of the construction of a new DART station, approximately 8.5m in height, linked with a new footbridge providing stair and new lift access; the upgrading of the access road including the provision of a drop-off area; the upgrading of footpaths; and ancillary works including landscaping and planting. Permission was granted by Dublin City Council on 10th December, 2003.
In 2004 a further planning application was made seeking planning permission for modifications to a previously approved but un-built development at Howth Junction DART Station, off St Donagh’s Road, Donaghmede, Dublin 13 (Dublin City Council Register Reference 2089/03). These works consist of the construction of a new DART Station, approximately 16.7m in height with a new foot-bridge (approximately 21.1m in height) providing stair and lift access; the upgrading of the access road including the provision of a drop-off area; the upgrading of footpaths; and ancilalry works including landscaping and planting. This materially differs from the previously approved development with modifications including the revised design of the Station building (including reduction in overall floor area from 658 sq.m. to 604 sq.m and revised elevations); revised location of the building on the site (the building has been moved further southwest on the site); the omission of features including a retail unit and previously proposed canopies outside the station; and the revised alignment of the access road and pathways. Permission was granted by Dublin City Council on 16th February, 2004.
The redevelopment works were carried out by Iarnród Éireann and a subsequent complaint was received in Fingal County Council relating to the carrying out of these works in the Fingal area. No planning application was made to Fingal County Council for the works despite the fact that the Dublin/Belfast Railway Line is the boundary between Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council administrative areas and the redevelopment of the railway station included land in both areas.
Enforcement proceedings were served on Iarnród Éireann by Fingal County Council and a subsequent meeting was held with their Senior Architect, Operational Manager and legal advisor and the Enforcement Section of Fingal County Council. Iarnród Éireann advised that the works carried out were exempted development pursuant to Class 23 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 in that the new works were carried out within the boundary of the existing station. It was stated that an application for planning permission was made to Dublin City Council as the works on the Dublin City side necessitated acquisition of further land from Dublin City Council for the new station and were therefore not exempted development. All works, it was said, carried out on the Fingal side were within the boundaries of the old station and were therefore exempted development.
At a meeting of the Howth/Malahide Area Committee on 17th April, 2008 the following motion was proposed:
"That the Manager make a section 5 reference to An Bord Pleanála in relation to the planning status of Howth Junction railway station."
The following reply issued by the Manager:
“A letter was issued to Iarnród Éireann relating to their failure to seek planning permission for the works carried out at Howth Junction Railway Station.
A Warning Letter under Section 152(1) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 was issued on 19/9/06. This letter allows a period of four weeks for submissions or observations to be lodged by the person served.
An Enforcement Notice issued on 8/12/06 requiring the situation to be regularised.
A meeting was held on 19/9/07 with Iarnród Éireann. They stated that the works carried out were exempted development under Class 23 (a) of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001: –
“The carrying out by any railway undertaking of development required in connection with the movement of traffic by rail in, on, over or under the operational land of the undertaking, except –
the construction or erection of any railway station or bridge, or of any residential structure, office or structure to be used for manufacturing or repairing work, which is not situated wholly within the interior of a railway station”.
They stated that the works carried out are within the boundary of the existing station. They stated that Iarnród Éireann applied for planning permission to Dublin City Council as the works on their side necessitated acquisition of further land from Dublin City Council for the new station and were therefore not exempt. All works carried out on the Fingal side were within the boundary of the Old Station and are considered exempt.
The Planning Authority has accepted that the works carried out are exempt.
Section 5 (4) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 provides that a –
‘Planning Authority may refer any question as to what in any particular case is or is not exempted development to be decided by An Bord Pleanála’.
The Planning Department is satisfied that the works carried out are exempted development under Class 23 which clearly exempts works carried out within the grounds of the railway station.
It is not considered necessary, therefore to request a ruling on this matter from An Bord Pleanála.”
Following consideration of the report the motion was passed and accordingly, I request that An Bord Pleanála make a decision on this referral under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 as to whether works carried out in the administrative area of Fingal County Council by Iarnród Éireann are exempted development, i.e. are the works carried out on lands owned by Iarnród Éireann works “situated wholly within the interior of a railway station”.
The appropriate fee of €220 is enclosed. Also, while no drawings were submitted to Fingal County Council I enclose indicative drawings circulated to local Councillors by Iarnród Éireann in relation to the works carried out at Howth Junction Railway Station.
I look forward to your response in due course.