Planning File No. D02A/0346 ShaldonArea committee meeting October 2004
Question: Councillor M. Baker:
"To ask the Manager in relation to planning file No. D02A/0346 Shaldon, what is the Law Agent's opinion on the issue of residency given the recent Senior Counsel's view as furnished by the residents. Secondly, can the Manager confirm when the enforcement inspector last visited the house in question and if he is able to categorically confirm that the upstairs is not being used for commercial purposes?"
Planning Permission reg. ref. D02A/0346 was granted on 16th September 2002 for development comprising "change of use of ground floor of existing dwelling from residential use to use as a crche and montessori school; use of existing entrance onto Ardlui Park as pedestrian only access to crche and montessori school" subject to 12 conditions. Ongoing complaints have been received from residents in the area in relation to the crche, particularly breaches of conditions 1 and 4 of the permission granted. Condition 1 states:"That the crche shall be operated by a person in occupation of the main dwelling." Condition 4 states:That when the use as a crche by the occupant of the dwelling is no longer required the use shall revert to residential use unless planning permission has been granted by the Planning Authority or An Bord Pleanála. Local residents have obtained legal opinion from Senior Counsel in relation to the interpretation of the above conditions. Counsel has advised that in his opinion Condition 1 refers to the owner of the premises and that use of upstairs facilities by members of the staff of the crche is expressly prohibited. A copy of this opinion has been sent to the County Law Agent for his advice. The County Law Agent has issued a preliminary report on the matter in which he states that the owner "would appear to be in breach of the Conditions attached to Planning Permission D02A/0346". He recommends that the Council seek an Undertaking from the owner that she will make immediate arrangements to operate the Planning Permission as provided for in the Planning Conditions. The issue will be further discussed at a meeting to be held in the near future between the Legal Services Department and the Planning Department. The Planning Inspector for the area carried out a site inspection on 31st August 2004. At the time of inspection it was noted that the kitchen area at first floor level i.e. the residential portion of the property, was being utilised by the employees of the crche facility in conjunction with the use of the ground floor level as a crche facility. The Planning Authority wrote to the applicant and the manager of the crche on 6th September 2004 requiring that the use of the kitchen area on the first floor level in conjunction with the operation of the crche facility cease with immediate effect. A further inspection was carried out on 28th September 2004. At the time of inspection it was noted that all employees of the crche were working on the ground floor level and the first floor residential area was not being utilised. At the time of inspection there were 18 children being catered for which complies with Condition 2 of the permission granted. The matter will be considered further in conjunction with ongoing consultation with the County Law Agent with a view to ensuring strict compliance with all Conditions of Planning Permission reg. Ref. D02A/0346.