Section 5 Enterprise and Employment Developments

opendate_range28 Sep, 2020, 9:00am - 9 Dec, 2020, 4:00pm

5.1 Requirements for all Developments

The Planning Authority will require all enterprise and employment developments to be high quality. While it is acknowledged that many of these uses have functional requirements that dictate the form and layout of buildings, the Planning Authority will require a high quality finish in terms of design and materials, site layout, car parks, signage and boundary treatments. These developments should be attractive places to work and positively contribute to the visual amenity and public realm.

The Planning Authority will consider the following when assessing these developments:

  • The proposal must comply with the relevant economic development objectives/land use policies as set out Chapter 6 Economic Development, Volume 4 Settlements Plans or the respective local area plan, where relevant.
  • The existing road network must be able to safely cater for the additional vehicular traffic generated by the proposed development. This may include developer-led improvements as part of the proposal to address any identified traffic issues.
  • The proposal must provide suitable and safe access arrangements, sufficient car parking for the vehicles using the site, manoeuvring and servicing areas are provided.
  • The proposal should also include safe and direct access routes for pedestrians and cyclists and suitably designed cycle parking areas.
  • The site layout, building design, associated infrastructure and landscaping arrangements must be accessible, propose high quality design and sustainability including energy efficiency and the protection and enhancement of biodiversity and green infrastructure.
  • Appropriate boundary treatments and means of enclosure are provided and any areas of outside storage proposed are adequately screened from public view.
  • In the case of proposals in the countryside, the siting, layout and design should respect and enhance the rural setting and provide for satisfactory measures to assist integration into the landscape.

Within towns/villages, it is important to avoid abrupt transitions in scale and use in the boundary areas of adjoining land use zones. In dealing with development proposals in these contiguous areas, it will be necessary to avoid developments which would be detrimental to the amenities of the more environmentally sensitive zone. For instance, in zones abutting ‘residential areas’ or abutting residential development within mixed-use zones, particular attention must be paid to the use, scale and density of development proposals in order to protect the amenities of these residential properties.

5.1.1 Details to be submitted with Planning Applications

The following information should be submitted as part of planning applications for employment and enterprise developments

  • Details of the nature and scale of the proposed operation, opening hours and anticipated traffic levels.
  • Details of proposed water and wastewater usage and servicing arrangements.
  • Details to address potential impacts on water air and noise quality arising from the development both during the construction phase and/or operational phase.
  • Proposals to provide safe access which can cater for the anticipated volume and nature of traffic movements associated with the development. Proposals shall be submitted to provide adequate sightlines at the access.
  • Proposals for the provision of adequate parking and circulation areas within the site of the proposed development, unless otherwise agreed with by the Council.
  • Proposals for the provision of electric vehicle charging points on 20 % of new car parking spaces and infrastructure to provide for the installation of charging points on the remainder of the parking spaces.   
  • Proposals for the safe storage and disposal of waste in a manner which is visually and environmentally acceptable. Storage shall generally be confined to the rear of the development and should be screened by the building or an alternative method of screening. The location of waste and recycling facilities should be shown on the site layout plan.
  • Details of advertising signage shall be submitted. These details shall include the proposed size, scale, design, material and colour of the proposed signage.
  • Proposals shall be submitted to incorporate Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) into the development proposals.
  • New developments on Greenfield site will be required to provide a minimum of 10% open space.
  • Developments on brownfield/infill sites should make provision for external open space(s) that employees can use during the working day.

5.2 Industry and Warehouse Developments

These developments will be required to present a high quality appearance, assisted by landscaping and careful placing of advertisement structures and should have regard to the following:

  • Individual buildings should exhibit a high quality of modern architectural design and finish, including the use of colour.
  • Buildings >500m2 in floor area are required to provide south-facing solar panels.
  • In the case of two or more industrial/warehouse units, a uniform design will be required for boundary treatments, roof profiles and building lines and signage.
  • Areas between the building(s) and the road boundary may include car parking spaces provided that adequate screen planting is incorporated into the design proposal. Adequate provision shall be made on site for the parking of vehicles, storage and stacking spaces. Storage and stacking areas shall be located to the rear of building, or where such facilities can only be provided to the side, provision for screening shall be made.
  • The front building line shall be as determined in consultation with the Planning Authority and, where required, the existing roadside boundary shall be set back, subject to appropriate boundary treatments for the particular location being proposed.
  • The proposed use shall not be injurious to the residential amenity of adjoining properties.
  • A landscaped buffer zone (minimum 10-15 metres wide) will be a requirement of planning permissions for any industrial/warehousing development where it adjoins another land use zoning or where it may impact on the amenities of adjoining land uses.
  • In the case of proposals in the countryside, there are satisfactory measures to assist integration into the landscape.

5.3 Office Developments

The Planning Authority will encourage office development to take place in town centres. The use of vacant or under-utilised upper floors for office development will be encouraged (except where this would result in the loss of residential development in the primary retail area).

The Planning Authority will consider office development outside of the town centre in the following circumstances:

  1. Offices will be permitted on land otherwise zoned where it is ancillary to a use permitted under the proposed use class;
  2. Extension to existing premises of industrial/business parks.
  3. In areas served by public transport and subject to a mobility action plan to reduce dependency on private transport.

A change of use from ground floor shops to offices on primary retail streets will only be permitted where the change of use would not detract from the retail vitality and viability of the town centre.

5.4 Home Based Economic Activities

This is considered to be a small-scale commercial activity carried out by the resident of a dwelling generally being service based, where such use is subordinate to the use of the dwelling as a main residence.

The Planning Authority will facilitate individual small scale start up enterprises which include a change of use and/or new development to grow from residential dwellings which would not unduly impact on residential amenities.

The Planning Authority will have regard to the following when assessing these planning applications:

  • Maximum of 1 employee and not visited by members of the public.
  • The nature of the proposed use to be carried out and the hours of operation.
  • The effects on the amenities of adjoining properties.
  • The level of traffic generated by the proposed development,
  • The generation, storage and collection of waste.

Permission for such partial change of use will only be granted to the resident of the dwelling and will be restricted to use by the applicant. The change of use should not exceed 25% of the total floor area of the dwelling. Permission will not normally be granted for such changes of uses in apartments.

5.5 Agriculture Developments

5.5.1 Agricultural Buildings

The Planning Authority will facilitate agriculture developments at appropriate locations. The Planning Authority recognises the need for agricultural buildings and acknowledges that there is often a requirement for these structures to be significant in scale. Notwithstanding this, these buildings will be required to be sympathetic to their surroundings in terms of scale, materials and finishes. The building should be sited as unobtrusively as possible and the finishes and colours used must ensure the building will blend into its surrounding and landscape. The use of appropriate roof colours of dark green and grey will be required. Where cladding is proposed it shall be dark in colour also.

The Planning Authority will give consideration to the following during the assessment of planning applications:

  • It should be demonstrated that there are no suitable redundant buildings on the farm holding to accommodate the proposed development.
  • The proposal should not detract from the character and visual amenities of the immediate and surrounding area.
  • The proposals should not detract from the residential amenities of properties in the vicinity.
  • The traffic movements associated with the proposed development must not give rise to a traffic hazard.
  • All waste associated with the proposed development must be stored and disposed of in accordance with the relevant legislation and guidelines and not impact on public health.

5.5.2 Farm Diversification

Proposals for farm diversification that involves the development of sustainable business initiatives that are subsidiary to, and directly linked to the primary use of a property for agriculture will generally be favourably considered. Developments in excess of this threshold will be assessed as independent enterprises.

The development of new rural enterprises will be considered on lands where:

  • The scale and nature of the proposed development and associated buildings are appropriate to the rural setting, and are in areas of low environmental sensitivity,
  • It is demonstrated that the proposed enterprise is required to be located in a rural area,
  • The proposal will not adversely affect the character and appearance of the landscape,
  • The local road network and other essential infrastructure can accommodate any extra demand generated by the proposal,
  • Where possible, the proposal involves the re-use of redundant or underused buildings that are of value to the rural area, and
  • Where safe access to the public road network can be achieved.

5.7 Tourism

The Planning Authority recognises the role of tourism in the economic development of the county. However, it is also aware of the need to control the type and scale of such developments in rural areas to ensure that the character and quality of the county’s tourism product is not eroded.

5.7.1 Tourist Attractions

The development of tourist attractions can assist with rural economic growth when linked to existing and proposed attractions such as the greenways.  Consideration will be given to permitting a limited number of such developments provided they do not conflict with other strategic objectives in the Plan including Section 7.6.2, Section 7.7.4 and Section 7.7.5 in Chapter Tourism and the associated objectives  and meet the following minimum requirements:

  • The development consists of a well-researched, justified and imaginative integrated project.
  • The development does not contravene the landscape and coastal zone management objectives in the Plan.
  • The development relates sympathetically to the scale and level of activity in the locality.
  • The development will not result in detrimental impact on road safety or the free flow of traffic and will not require improvements which would detract from the character of rural roads.
  • The development will not have adverse impacts on sites of nature conservation value or archaeological importance or structures of architectural or historic interest.
  • Any accommodation is of good design standard and sympathetic to the landscape in terms of its siting and materials.

5.7.2 Holiday Home Parks

Where the principle of a holiday home scheme has been accepted at a particular location (as set out in Chapter 7 Tourism) the layout and design of the development should have regard to the following standards:

  • The design of holiday homes should be of a high standard, incorporating imaginative layouts, well laid out communal open spaces, significant and appropriate landscaping, sufficient private open space and parking facilities for both occupants and visitors.
  • The design of units should be high quality and respect the character of the area in which they are located.
  • Walking and cycling routes to and within the development shall be provided.
  • Parking areas must be separate from the dwellings and well screened.
  • The units should not have private gardens or sheds, small sun terraces would be acceptable.
  • Bio-diversity areas consisting of 15% of the site must be provided.
  • Sites features such as hedgerows and trees shall be maintained wherever possible.
  • The scheme must be retained in single ownership.

Where connection to public wastewater network is not possible it must be demonstrated that the proposed wastewater treatment system is suitably designed to cater for the development without negatively impacting on water quality and consideration should be given to the selection of a wastewater treatment system that can adequately deal with periods of inactivity, that is, when houses are unoccupied for long periods such as outside the summer period.

The minimum separation distances from holiday homes to onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems shall comply with Table 4 EPA Wastewater Treatment Manual - Treatment Systems for small communities, business, leisure centres and hotels

Where required a development must hold a Section 4 discharge licence for the discharge of treated effluent to either surface or groundwater in accordance with the Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts 1977-1990.

5.7.3 Caravan, Camping and Glamping Developments

Where the principle of static/touring caravan development has been accepted at a particular location (as set out in Chapter 7 Tourism), the layout and design of the development should have regard to the following standards:

  • The design and layout must be of a high standard with an emphasis on innovation to provide an integrated design concept linking pitches to well-located communal areas, on site facilities and amenities.
  • Sites should normally be accessible to existing local services and public utilities, but should not adversely affect them.
  • The overall level of development in any one area should not detract from the privacy and amenity presently enjoyed by local residents. No such sites should be located immediately adjacent to existing residential properties and sites should be developed so that residential properties are not overlooked.
  • High quality and extensive landscaping and tree planting will be required around all boundaries and throughout the site. A comprehensive landscaping scheme must form an integral part of the site development. New planting should be designed to reinforce existing landscape features including hedgerows, woodlands, trees and shrubs. Landscaping proposals should provide for generous planting in groups and zones using indigenous species. The landscaping scheme should be prepared by an appropriately qualified professional.
  • Development should be provided with adequate roads and parking areas with a least one parking space per pitch and an appropriate number of additional spaces for visitors. Reception/entrance areas should be provided with adequate parking and turning facilities.
  • Public lighting should be on low level posts and of low intensity.
  • Compliance with the Regulations for Caravan and Camping Parks (Bord Fáilte 2009). Where connection to public wastewater network is not possible it must demonstrated that the proposed wastewater Treatment system is suitably designed to cater for the development without negatively impacting on water quality. The capacity of the system should be designed in accordance with Table 3 EPA Wastewater Treatment Manual - Treatment Systems for small communities, business, leisure centres and hotels. Consideration should be given to the selection of a wastewater treatment system that can adequately deal with periods of inactivity (i.e. when unoccupied for long periods such as outside the summer period).
  • The minimum separation distances from caravans and other habitable structures to an onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems shall comply with Table 4 EPA Wastewater Treatment Manual - Treatment Systems for small communities, business, leisure centres and hotels.

Where required a caravan and camping development must hold a Section 4 discharge licence for the discharge of treated effluent to either surface or groundwater in accordance with the Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts 1977-1990.

5.8 Aggregate Resources and the Extractive Industry

As outlined in Chapter 6 Economic Development the Planning Authority will assess each planning application on their merits having regard to environmental capacity, landscape, natural and built heritage and residential and visual amenity and available infrastructure such as the appropriateness of the road network which would be used by quarry traffic. There should be an emphasis on extraction in locations which avoid impacts rather than locations where significant mitigation and restoration is required.

All planning applications shall be subject to screening for Appropriate Assessment under the EU Habitats Directive and Environmental Impact Assessment under the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. 

It is to be noted that the granting of planning permission does not imply that subsequent permissions for further quarrying at the site, especially widening and deepening, will be granted planning permission.

Planning permissions will be subject to conditions requiring the monitoring of noise, dust, vibration and impacts on waters etc. by suitably qualified persons, with action required to rectify in the event of any breaches etc.

All planning applications shall clearly identify the horizontal and vertical extent and volume of extraction proposed and supporting information/reports submitted shall be prepared by suitably qualified persons.

The proposed development and associated operations shall be in accordance with industry best practice and shall have regard to the following guidance documents and information (as may be updated /added to): 

  • Environmental Management in the Extractive Industry (EPA, 2006)
  • Quarries and Ancillary Activities: Guidelines for Planning Authorities (DEHLG, 2004)
  • Wildlife, Habitats and the Extractive Industry (Notice Nature/ Irish Concrete Federation / NPWS 2010)
  •  The Environmental Code (ICF, 2006)
  • Geological Heritage Guidelines for the Extractive Industry (ICF and GSI, 2008)
  • Archaeological Code of Practice (ICF and DEHLG, 2009)
  • Mapping information as may be produced by the GSI.

Planning applications must demonstrate that:  

  1. The proposal would not generate significant adverse impacts on existing and proposed designated sites of natural heritage (ecological and geological) including SACs, cSACs, SPAs, NHAs, CGS and pNHAs whether or not a significant and/or important resource is identified at the proposed site.  
  2. The proposal can be satisfactorily accessed from a roads network which can cater for the type and volume of traffic likely to be generated, in a manner which would not generate public safety hazards, will not detract significantly from residential amenities, and/or would not generate other adverse impacts for other road users. Details regarding intended haul routes, which should avoid roads which are of unsuitable width, condition and alignment, and/or roads with extensive housing development and/or schools, should be submitted.   It should be demonstrated that adequate sightlines will be available at the access point to the site from the public road (including where access is proposed via a private laneway). Measures to prevent the deposit of mud, stones, water and other material which can endanger public safety should be detailed. Planning conditions which restrict haul movements at certain times and on certain days may be attached to any grant of permission.
  3. The development is sited and designed to use existing landforms to prevent significant adverse visual impacts on the landscape. Proposals which rely on extensive mitigation works to address an adverse visual impact will not be favourably considered.  All quarry-related structures, plant and stockpiles should be appropriately sited within the site to avoid adverse visual impacts.
  4. The potential impacts of the activity on the environment including ground and surface water, can be prevented and/or mitigated to an acceptable degree through careful siting and design and on-going considerate management and compliance with planning conditions.
  5. The proposal would not give rise to significant adverse impacts on adjoining residential and agricultural amenities, through noise, dust, vibration, or other disturbance. Buffer zones of appropriate size shall be established at the boundaries of the site with third party land having regard to the site specific potential for impacts. Existing landform features and exposed faces etc. should be used to provide further dust and noise screening. Whilst each site and proposal will be assessed on its particular merits and contexts, a minimum buffer zone of 100m shall normally be required between activities likely to give rise to dust generation,  e.g. exposed sand faces, sand stockpiles and residential properties, unless the written consent of the owner/occupier of that residential property(s) is obtained for a lesser buffer. All quarry-related structures, plant and stockpiles should be appropriately sited within the site to avoid adverse impacts on adjoining amenities.
  6. The proposal would not give rise to significant adverse impacts on cultural heritage such as protected structures and archaeological sites. 
  7. The site would be secured to prevent unauthorised, inadvertent or accidental entry.
  8. The proposal has been designed to protect and encourage biodiversity.
  9. The proposed quarry will be subject to an orderly closure process at the completion of quarrying and processing, to include matters such as the removal of plant, structures and stockpiles, the retention of landscaping where appropriate and site security.
  10. The proposals for the after-use of quarried sites. Any proposals for importation of material to facilitate such a use, shall be the subject of a separate planning permission application for the site to be quarried.
  11. The proposal would not be contrary to other objectives of this Plan. 
  12. In the case of proposals to extend existing quarries, it should be demonstrated that the existing quarry has been operated responsibly in compliance with previous planning permissions and conditions attached to such. Proposals to extend existing quarries will not be favourably considered in advance of the regularisation of any unauthorised extraction which has been undertaken at the site.

The above criteria will also apply in the assessment of proposals for alternative uses of extractive industry sites, including concrete and tarmac manufacture.

5.9 Facilities for Disposal of Inert Materials

Having regard to the Southern Regional Waste Management Plan 2015-2021, the Planning Authority will facilitate development proposals/planning applications to deposit clean infill-type waste onto land subject to the below criteria.

It should be noted that a proposal for disposal of more than 25,000 tonnes of waste per year would require mandatory EIA. The Planning Authority will consider the total volume of waste material and the timescale over which it is proposed to import that material in the determination on this matter and the determination as to whether a sub-threshold EIA is required.

Development of this nature will also require authorisation under the provisions of the Waste Management Act(s) through the Environment Department of Wexford County Council or the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Planning Authority will have regard to the following when considered applications for developments of this nature: 

  • Detailed information, prepared by an appropriately qualified person, should be submitted which clearly establishes the nature and extent of the development proposed, to include details on the type and volume of material to be imported; the area of land over which it would be deposited, cross sections indicating the depth of deposits and slopes, phasing, anticipated time scale for completion, sources of material, site management arrangements, after-use and restoration.
  • It should be demonstrated that the proposed development can take place without the loss or significant adverse impacts upon significant landscape features such as hedges and trees at field boundaries, riparian habitats and wetlands1. Culverting of watercourses will not be acceptable. Measures to prevent the importation of invasive species to the site should also be demonstrated.
  • It should be demonstrated that the proposed development would not give rise to a risk of pollution of ground and surface waters. Suitable buffer zones and barriers proposed should be proposed where appropriate to prevent discharges to surface water courses.
  • It should be demonstrated that the proposed development can be carried out without having significantly adverse impacts from noise and/or dust generation on the amenities of adjoining lands and development.
  • It should be demonstrated that adequate sightlines will be available at the access point to the site from the public road (including where access is proposed via a private laneway). Measures to prevent the deposit of mud, stones, water and other material which can endanger public safety should be detailed.
  • It should be demonstrated that the public roads network from which access is proposed can cater for the type and volume of HGV traffic likely to be generated, in a manner which would not generate public safety hazards, significant residential dis-amenity and/or other impacts on other road users. Details regarding intended haul routes, which should avoid local roads with unsuitable widths, horizontal and or vertical alignments and with extensive housing development and/schools, will be required to be submitted.
  • It should be demonstrated that the proposed development would not give rise to flood risks on the land or on land up- or downstream of the site. In this regard a Site Specific Flood Risk Assessment shall be submitted on sites where there is a risk of flooding.
  • It should be demonstrated that the proposed development would not adversely impact on Recorded Monuments or Protected Structures.
  • It should be demonstrated that the proposed development would not give rise to adverse impacts on Natura 2000 / European Sites. All proposed developments will be subject to Appropriate Assessment screening.   

5.10 Retail and Commercial Uses

5.10.1 Retail

Applications for new retail development shall accord with the Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2012), and the requirements outlined in Volume 8 County Retail Strategy and the following standards:

  • Retail development should be in accordance with the role and function of the retail centre and accord with the scale and type of retailing identified for that location.
  • Retail development should be in accordance with the fundamental objective to support the vitality and viability of the retail centre and must demonstrate compliance with the sequential approach. Proposals to amalgamate retail units will be carefully considered.
  • Provide safe and easy access for pedestrians, cyclists and people with specific design needs.
  • Be accessible by public and private transport.
  • Be of a high design standard and satisfactorily integrated with the surrounding built environment.
  • The development should not negatively impact on the flow of vehicular traffic either in the immediate vicinity or the wider area of the development.
  • Be designed to ensure access for all, including parking, level access and internal layout. 
  • Include changing places facilitates for shops or retail developments that exceed 3,000m2
  • Include public toilets including equal access facilities for all retail developments over 1, 000m2. 

The Planning Authority will require a Retail Impact Assessment (RIA) to be carried out for proposed retail developments outside of the zoned town centre areas:

  • Greater than 1,000 m2 of net floor space for both convenience and comparison type developments in the four main towns.
  • Greater than 500m2 of net floor space for convenience and comparison type developments in Service Settlements and other settlements.
  • Or where the Planning Authority considers the development may impact on the vitality or viability of the town centre.

The RIA shall include, at minimum, the criteria set out in the Retail Planning Guidelines (2012) and that referred to in the Retail Strategy.

5.10.2 Retail Warehousing

No further bulky goods retail parks are considered to be required given the level of vacancy and occupancy of non-compliant retail which requires continuous enforcement.  Individual stores will only be considered in exceptional circumstance but will require detailed assessment and retail impact assessment, outside of zoned areas for floor areas above 1,000m.

The range of goods sold in existing and future authorised bulky goods retail parks will be strictly controlled and limited to bulky goods or goods which are not portable by customers travelling by foot, bicycle or bus2. Ancillary products should not exceed 20% of the total net retail floor space of the relevant unit, and such space should be clearly delineated on the planning application drawings.

In town and village centres, the size and scale of all new retail warehousing developments should be in accordance with the character of the area. Due to the proximity of local and district centres to surrounding residential areas, regard must also be had to the impact of retail warehousing on residential amenity. Within core retail areas, the Planning Authority will apply a level of flexibility in allowing types of stores where a mix of bulky and non-bulky goods are sold.

5.10.3 Shop Fronts

Shop fronts are one of the most important elements in determining the character, quality and image of retail streets. The Planning Authority will promote a dual approach to shopfront design:

  • Protecting traditional and original shop fronts;
  • Encouraging good contemporary shop front design where appropriate.

The following are the key guiding principles:

  • Existing traditional shopfronts should be maintained or restored where possible.
  • New shopfront design within existing traditional buildings in the town and village centres should reflect traditional proportions showing fascia, pilaster, stall riser etc. They do not have to be traditional in design but must maintain traditional proportions and materials. They should respect plot width. If a shopfront extends over two buildings then the shop front must reflect the two plots. The design must also reflect facia levels of adjoining buildings.
  • Window display areas should be installed with LED lighting to encourage “window shopping “ and security in the evenings.
  • New shopfronts on infill sites should, in general reflect traditional plot width dimensions and floor to ceiling heights/fascia heights of adjoining buildings. While they do not have to be traditional in design they should reflect the traditional elements of composition.
  • External roller shutters will not be permitted and such security shutters mounted inside behind the window display of the shop or set back at least 1 metre.  Traditional grills or railings to the entrance door would also be acceptable. Alterations to shop fronts will require improvements to ensure level access to ensure access for all.

5.10.4 Restrictions on Uses

An over-concentration of certain uses will be discouraged in town and villages centres due to an overriding need to maintain the integrity, quality and vibrancy of centres. In particular, the Planning Authority will seek to ensure that the quantum of amusement arcades, betting offices, public houses, off-licences, nightclubs and fast food/hot food takeaway outlets is not disproportionate to the overall size and character of the area. In areas defined as retail core in the Local Area Plans for Enniscorthy, Gorey, New Ross and Wexford only retail uses would be permitted on the ground floor of the property. 

5.10.5 Betting Offices and Off Licences

The Planning Authority will seek to ensure that the quantum of off-licence and betting offices, particularly within smaller centres, is not disproportionate to the size and overall character of the area and that development would not have a negative impact on the amenity of the area due to noise, general disturbance, hours of operation and litter. Shop fronts must be provide on active frontages with window displays at least 1 m in depth from the front of the window. The provision of a small section of a convenience shop for an ancillary off-licence is generally acceptable.

5.10.6 Fast Food/Hot Food Take Away Outlets

The development of fast food/hot food takeaway outlets will be strictly controlled and a proliferation of this use will not be encouraged. This type of development will generally only be considered in town, village and neighbourhood centres.

Proposals for this type of development will not be permitted where:

  • It is likely to prove detrimental to the amenities of nearby residential properties, the visual amenity of the area and/or give rise to traffic or car parking hazards.
  • It would result in noise or odour problems for the occupiers of nearby properties.
  • There is an existing residential unit above.
  • It would give rise to a proliferation of this use in a particular area.
  • It is within 400m radius of educational establishments. Consideration may be given to such uses in villages if the school pupils are not permitted to leave during lunch and the use is restricted to hours in the evening.

Stringent controls will be applied with regard to bin provision, litter collection, car parking and façade design. The latter may necessitate the alteration of corporate images in order to assimilate into the character of the area. The Planning Authority may also impose restrictions on opening hours as a condition of planning permission.

5.10.7 Amusement Arcades

Proposals for amusement arcades will not be permitted in the primary retail areas of the four main towns or in residential areas and a proliferation of amusement arcades will not be permitted. The protection of the character of the area and the amenities of adjoining residential properties and businesses will be taken into consideration when assessing planning applications for this type of development.

5.10.8 Public Houses and Nightclubs

In order to maintain an appropriate mix of uses and protect night-time amenities, the Planning Authority will not allow an excessive concentration of public houses and nightclubs in a particular area or in areas with residential development.  The following issues will be taken into account during the assessment of planning applications for such uses:

  • The potential effects of the development on the amenity of nearby residents.
  • Noise at the boundaries will have to be carefully monitored and noise insulation measures will be required at the time of the submission of the planning application. The number and frequency of events will also be considered.
  • Proper litter control measures shall be in place prior to the opening of any premises.
  • Façade design will be carefully controlled, in particular, the type and degree of advertising signage and lighting. The design shall respect the character of the street and the buildings.

5.10.9 Motor Fuel Stations

Motor fuel stations, while necessary, have the potential to cause disturbance, nuisance and detract from the amenities of an area and as such, proposals for new or extended outlets will be carefully considered. Motor fuel stations will not generally be encouraged within the core retail area of urban centres.

The Planning Authority will have regard to the following when considering planning applications for this type of development:

  • It must  be demonstrated that noise, traffic, visual obtrusion, fumes and smells will not detract unduly from the amenities of the area and in particular from sensitive land uses such as residential development.
  • Motor fuel stations should be of high quality design and integrate with the surrounding built environment, and must not detract from the historic or architectural character of the area. In this regard, the use of standard corporate designs and signage may not be acceptable. The design and layout should have regard to the urban design guidance and requirements outlined in Chapter 5 Towns and Villages.
  • Forecourt lighting, including canopy lighting, should be contained within the site and should not interfere with the amenities of the area.
  • The forecourt shop should be designed so as to be accessible by foot and bicycle, with proper access for delivery vehicles. The safety aspects of circulation and parking within the station forecourt should be fully considered. Retailing activities should be confined to the shop floor area, except in the case of sales of domestic fuel, where some external storage may be permissible. The external storage of gas cylinders and solid fuel, should be limited in area and confined to strictly defined specifically designed compounds adjoining the shop/forecourt and be subject to adequate measures being taken for visual appearance, security and safety.
  • The sale of retail goods from motor fuel stations should be restricted to convenience goods and only permitted as an ancillary small scale facility. The net floorspace of a motor fuel station shop shall not exceed 100m2.  Where permission is sought for a retail floorspace in excess of 100m2, the sequential approach to retail development shall apply, that is, the retail element shall be assessed as a proposed development in its own right).
  • Workshops for minor servicing, e.g. tyre changing, puncture repairs, oil changing may be permitted in circumstances where they would not adversely impact the operation of the primary motor fuel station use and local amenities, particularly with regard to proximity to dwellings or adjoining residential areas.
  • Motor fuel stations and service areas in proximity to the National Road network will be assessed with regard to the Spatial Planning and National Roads Guidelines for Planning Authorities DECLG, (2012).
  • Accessible toilets shall be provided in all developments.  Changing Place facilities shall be provided for major service stations in excess of 500m2 of floor space.
  • Accessible parking shall be provided adjacent to the main entrance to the forecourt building.
  • All  parking spaces, including parking spaces for people with disabilities, shall be provided with Electric Vehicle  charging points.

All planning applications for motor fuels stations will be required to have regard to the standards set out in Table 5-1.

Table 5-1 Motor Fuel Stations Requirements

Overall Design

A high standard of overall design will be required, in particular in relation to the scale, design and position of buildings, canopies, signage and advertisements. The overall design should take into account the location of the site and standard canopy forms should be avoided. A detailed landscaping scheme, prepared by a suitably qualified person, should be submitted with the planning application.

Access

The width of the accesses shall be not less than 6m and not more than 9m. The radii of the kerbs at the entrance and exits shall be not less than 10m. The minimum distance from the entrance (access way) to the nearest road junction or traffic lights shall be as follows:

  • Major roads: 50m
  • Minor roads: 25m

Safe and convenient access arrangements for pedestrians and cyclists should be provided and maintained with clear demarcation of pedestrian routes. Convenient and secure cycle parking facilities should be provided.

Frontage

Minimum 31m. The site shall be clearly demarcated from the public road with a low wall not exceeding 0.5m in height constructed along all of the front boundary line. A footpath shall also be provided outside the boundary wall.

Location of Structures

The centre island containing the pumps shall in no case be nearer than 7m to the edge of the road curtilage. No obstruction, other than the pump island, shall be located within 15m of the road boundary. No structures, whether permanent or temporary, shall interfere with the sightlines of drivers or obstruct pedestrians.

 

Sightlines

Speed Value of Road
Less than 80km/h
80km/h or greater

Minimum Visibility Distances Required
160m
215m

Parking

Parking bays/aisles must be located so as to minimise pedestrian/vehicular conflict. Adequate parking, screened from general view, to cater for vehicles being serviced. Adequate parking for disabled persons shall be provided.

Lighting

Lighting and illumination shall be sited and designed to prevent glare hazard, enhance security, avoid confusion to road users, avoid negative impacts on visual amenities of the area and avoid negative impacts on adjoining/adjacent properties.

Signage and Canopies

Signage and advertisements should be sited and designed to:

  • Prevent hazards to public safety;
  • Avoid negative impacts on visual amenities of the area. No signage/advertising structure shall exceed 5.2m in height and signage/advertising should not give rise to visual clutter;
  • Avoid negative impacts on adjoining/adjacent properties; and
  • Have regard to the character of the area.

Drainage / General Facilities

The surface of the forecourt shall be graded, surfaced with bitumen tarmacadam or other suitable material and drained to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority and maintained in that condition. A petrol/oil interceptor trap shall be fitted to the surface water drainage system. Provision shall be made for the appropriate storage and removal of refuse and waste material and these shall be shown on the site layout plan.

Uses

The size of convenience retail component/range of goods for sale may be limited having regard to location, retail facilities available in the vicinity, adequacy of parking and traffic safety. The Planning Authority may prevent other uses, consumption of food on the premises, where it is considered that such uses would give rise to hazardous parking and traffic turning movements.

Public Facilities

Equal access public toilets including a baby changing facility shall be provided. Changing Places facilities required in motorway service stations.

  • 1-  ‘Wetlands’ means natural or artificial areas where biogeochemical functions depend notably on constant or periodic shallow inundation, or saturation, by standing or flowing fresh, brackish or saline water (Inserted by article 3 of S.I. No. 454/2011 – Planning and Development (Amendment)(No. 2) Regulations 2011)
  • 2-  Retail Warehouse: A large single-level store specialising in the sale of bulky household goods such as carpets, furniture and electrical goods, and bulky items, catering mainly for car-borne customers (Appendix 1 Glossary of Terms, Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities, DECLG, 2012).

Submissions

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