A controversial Starbucks outlet on Cork city’s main street has closed after a three-year planning battle.It follows enforcement action by Cork City Council in the wake of rulings from An Bord Pleanála that planning permission would be required for the St Patrick’s St cafe to remain in business.The cafe opened in 2015 in a former mobile phone shop.But Starbucks licensed partner and the operator of its stores in Ireland, Entertainment Enterprises Group, never secured planning permission for the change of use of the building.While it argued that what was being sold was consistent with the building’s previous use as a shop, city planners disagreed and the matter was referred to An Bord Pleanála first in 2015.The board agreed the use of the premises as a coffee shop meant it was not exempt from planning.Starbucks then removed the tables, seats and toilets, arguing the location operated strictly as a takeaway and was, therefore, a shop rather than a cafe.But when … [Read more...] about Starbucks outlet to finally close after planning battle
Buildings exempt from planning permission
An application has now been submitted for the road widening project at Triq tal-Balal, a spokesperson for the Planning Authority has confirmed with The Malta Independent. Times of Malta reported last week that the works had forged ahead even though no permit had been issued by the Planning Authority. The newspaper said the announcement of the start of the works, by Transport Minister Ian Borg, took many by surprise since there had been hardly any mention of such plans. Certain road works are exempt from planning permission but projects like the one in tal-Balal, where the footprint is being enlarged, require a permit. Infrastructure Malta, the agency tasked with road projects, last week gave the Times a 'vague' reply, insisting that it was liaising with the PA "in view of the urgency and national importance of this upgrade, to complete these processes as swiftly as possible to ensure that road users can start benefitting from this new infrastructure in time before the be-ginning of the … [Read more...] about Planning application for tal-Balal road-widening project has been filed
Michael and Rose Murray had the dream home in mind, to be built where Michael had grown up. A house double their initial plans was constructed and the family have been living there for over a decade. The only problem is planning permission was never granted, writes Caroline O’Doherty.THE Murrays didn’t do things by half. When they were refused planning permission for a substantial dormer bungalow in 2006, they went ahead anyway — but the home they built was twice the size of the one denied permission.As one local person put it: “They didn’t give two fingers to the planners — they gave the whole fist.”Or, as a High Court judge said when the case came before it, they “sought to drive a coach and four through the planning laws”.The High Court is just one forum to have heard the case which has also been through the local planning department, An Bord Pleanála, the Supreme Court and even the European Court of Justice over the last 12 … [Read more...] about Planning laws: Shaky foundations for grand home leads to decade-long legal battle
Lisbon's azure skies are dotted with forests of cranes as scores of construction workers give Portugal's capital a shiny and new, if pricey, veneer. For years the local construction industry lay in the doldrums -- but today the city is a hive of activity, a boon for those involved in its overhaul. "Eight years ago, with my colleague, we were going from door to door offering our services," recalls Roman Kurtysh, a stonemason from Ukraine who specialises in facade revamps and working at height. "I still don't know how we survived," grins Kurtysh, a stocky man in his 40s with a thinning beard who left his homeland for Portugal almost two decades ago. He tried his hand at various jobs before setting up Rkesa, an urban renewal firm, with compatriot Oleksandr Shulyak in 2009. "In those days, at the end of the month we would draw a salary of 53 euros ($60) each," recalls Kurtysh. "We were ready to throw in the towel," he told AFP. Early 2014 brought a turning point. Three years after … [Read more...] about Building boom lifts Lisbon allure — and property prices
1 Read comments Friday, 27 April 2018 - Politics A public consultation on possible changes to the planning system has highlighted concerns over MHK independence and big business bias. There were 171 responses to the consultation, which included 38 organisations ranging from local authorities to government departments, preservation groups and building contractors. Among the questions, was whether Tynwald approval should be continued, alongside public consultation into changes in planning policy.This was overwhelmingly supported as nearly 70% of respondents, who agreed that, following public consultation, Tynwald must retain the final say on planning policy.Reasons for this ranged from due democratic process, public input and prevention of arbitrary decision making.There were, however, strong concerns raised by respondents, including the need to give planning committees more weight and not allow MHKs to overturn recommendations.The most illuminating comment in the report was a … [Read more...] about Are MHKs really independent when it comes to planning decisions?