Old post box cited in Mayo recommendation to refuse planning

A historical wall and the location of an old post box were two reasons cited in a recommendation for refusal of planning permission.

The claim was made by Councillor Al McDonnell, who said it was 'bizarre', and that while the applicant had withdrawn their application, which relates to a site in Clogher, they would be resubmitting it in the future.

Frustrations with the planning process were raised by Councillor Cyril Burke at a Castlebar Municipal District meeing where he said there was no point going to pre-planning meetings, with a three-month wait, and when you get there you are no further along.

Most agents preferred to get refused planning as they would get a higher density in developments when they went to An Bord Pleanála.

Currently he saw 17 applications in Mayo where further information was being sought. Could people not be told what they were missing when they came in with their files, he asked.

Councillor McDonnell said he knew of an application in Ballintubber, on the N84, where it was proposed to build a replacement dwelling, moving an existing cottage back from the road. It would improve safety as the residents could now only park on the hard shoulder.

For some 'extraordinary reason' it was deemed to increase turning points and vehicle traffic at the location, which was not true, and it was decided to refuse it.

In the second example in Clogher village, where the application was withdrawn, one of the reservations was that there was a historical wall along the roadside, which was part of the old Clogher Demesne, and which is collapsing and is a danger.

Another reason was that it was close to a historical post box in a stone wall, added the councillor, a facility was that used 50 years ago but was deemed a reason for refusal.

The application had been withdrawn but it will be resubmitted and he was requesting that it would be looked at in a rational manner. They were two of the reasons suggested and it was 'bizarre', he said.

Councillor Burke asked that councillors would receive a list of all applications that are withdrawn as they aren't getting the full picture.

Councillor Donna Sheridan said they should be encouraging and assisting people to get planning, not putting obstacles in their way.