Limerick end of life vehicle facility is resuscitated

An Bord Pleanála says premises can continue to operate

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

Limerick end of life vehicle facility is resuscitated

AN END of life vehicle dismantling facility in County Limerick has got a new lease of life after An Bord Pleanála gave it permission to continue operating.

The applicant was Munster 4x4 Spares of Ballyvarra, Lisnagry while the appellants were residents of the Borean, Biddyford / Ballyvarra. The business is located on a “country road”.

The planning inspector noted it is the third appeal relating to the subject site.

In March 2016, permission was granted for continued use of the vehicle dismantling facility with the condition it was for three years. After that the development was to be removed and the lands to be restored to agricultural use. The reason given for this was to enable “the developer to relocate to a more appropriate location for this expanding business, and as it is not considered acceptable that this use should remain in this agricultural area on a long-term basis”.

Mr Doyle applied to An Bord Pleanala for its continued operation. The residents - 18 signatories - asked the board to uphold the condition that it would be restored to agricultural use in 2019. They gave 14 grounds of appeal. They include saying it is a repeat application which the board has already fully assessed and determined.

“The current application is an affront to the appellants residential amenity,” they say. Relations between parties has deteriorated in the last number of years, they claim.

“Roads and traffic issues remain and the type of commercial use is untenable and unsustainable in this rural area. There have been a number of incidents on the road as a result of traffic generated by the development. The applicant has a history of non compliance with conditions of previous planning permissions.

“The business has expanded in a number of ways between 2010 to 2016. The applicant relies on the waste permit limitation of 30 vehicles, but this only relates to vehicles to be de-polluted.

“The amount of cars on the site can range from 130-170 at any one time. The business has outgrown its rural location and is not tied to the rural area. The development should be directed to appropriately zoned lands where existing services and facilities are available. The board’s previous decision concluded the use is inappropriate in the long run and allowed ample time to relocate to a suitable alternative site,” are a number of their grounds of appeal.

In response, the applicant said the appellants raise no environmental concerns, with the main concerns relating to traffic impact and the principle of the development.

“The temporary status of the applicant’s established facility has significant impacts on the viability of the business. The business is not an expanding business and will not expand any further. If condition 2 [continued use for three years] is not omitted, the applicant and his family will have to seek alternative sources of employment as the business is not of a scale that can absorb new set up costs or the expense of reinstating the site to agricultural use. The applicant is the sole provider for his family and there are outstanding borrowings on the business,” it states. The business has not expanded since 2010 and the applicant commits not to seek to expand in the future.

“Traffic movements to and from the site have decreased since 2012. Alleged incidents were not work related, the vehicle used by the applicant to transport vehicles from the site is shorter and narrower than a bin truck / lorry and therefore creates no more of a nuisance and does not create a traffic hazard. Number of de-polluted vehicles stored on the site is not a valid indication as to whether intensification of use has taken place or not.

“There has been commercial activity at this site for 15 years without any complaints from the environment section of the council,” said the applicant.

In granting the application, the inspector said it “would not seriously injure the general or residential amenities of property in the vicinity and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience”.