Not going to plan: Waterford council battles backlog of building applications
Covid-19 restrictions have left Waterford City and County Council with a backlog of planning applications. But the rules have now been changed and the council hopes to clear the jam over the next two months.
A Government order suspending all statutory planning periods, including periods of public consultation, has now been lifted.
“What this means in effect is that the planning authority can recommence the issuing of decisions on planning applications in all instances where the five week public consultation period has ended,” council chief executive Michael Walsh told councillors in a briefing document.
The council currently has 191 planning applications in its system, delayed as a result of the temporary suspension, and these are all due to be decided over the next eight weeks.
Councillors were told that the busiest period will be the week starting July 13 when 107 separate planning applications are due to be decided. This is almost five times the number of applications decided in the same week last year.
“The Planning Department will manage this situation by ensuring that as many applications as possible will be decided well in advance of their due date to average out the number of applications being processed on a weekly basis throughout the months of June and July,” said Mr Walsh.
The chief executive also revealed that the City and County Development Plan Review, which had been due to start on March 23, will now commence on the July 20 and arrangements are being put in place to facilitate full public engagement by means of on-line submissions, postal submissions, individual consultations, on-line videos and on-line meetings and presentations within interactive question and answer sessions.