PA failed demolitio
The Planning Authority (PA) did not abide by the law when granting permission for the demolition of a building, the Environment and Planning Commissioner within the Office of the Ombudsman concluded following an investigation into the case.
The complainant, in a case filed with the Commissioner, alleged that the Planning authority had approved a request to demolish a Grade 2 Scheduled building on the basis of Subsidiary Legislation regarding removal of danger orders, which the complainant said “does not authorise the PA to approve demolition of buildings but only the removal of dangerous ones,” the Ombudsman’s case notes for 2018 read. No details of the site in question were given due to the Ombudsman keeping such details confidential due to legislation.
Following a preliminary investigation of the relative file, this Commissioner informed the PA that there were a number of anomalies in the way this permit was issued and therefore merited immediate suspension of this permit which should be rendered null and void.
The issues raised in connection with this complaint can be summarised as follows: the absence of a detailed site inspection by an architect appointed by the Authority; whether a danger in terms of the law really existed on site; the applicant’s failure to declare that the site was scheduled; discrepancy between what was declared as dangerous on site and what was actually approved; and failure to request the applicant to submit method statements for shoring.
The report reads that the PA based its authorisation on a Structural Appraisal Report drawn up by an architect who is not the architect responsible for the application according to law. The Commissioner explained that the PA said that ‘an inspection of the site was not carried out because of the level of detail of the structural analysis which had been carried out by the independent architect and the quantity of illustrative material which it contained. These clearly presented the state of the building, and incidentally, indicated the division in the relative state of the two halves of the building.’ The architect who prepared the structural analysis report was commissioned by the applicant and hence in its justification the PA is wrong in stating that this analysis had been carried out by an independent architect, the Commissioner comments.
“Furthermore, the subsidiary legislation clearly binds that any authorisation can ‘… only be issued on the basis of detailed site inspections by an architecture and civil engineering profes