CSR Co-ordinate Applications for 4 Wind Farms in UK

wind 1CSR have lodged planning applications for three new wind farms in 2014 (two in Wales and one in England) on behalf of Njord Energy.  The wind farms range from five to seven turbines and if granted will provide up to between 12.5MW and 17.5MW of electricity to the UK national grid.  The turbines range from 100m – 110m tip height.

wind 2In association with Cunnane Town Planning (CTP), CSR led the EIA multi-disciplinary team and co-ordinated and produced the Environmental Statement (ES) to accompany the planning applications for the respective schemes.  This included the screening and scoping exercises prior to the EIA and the co-ordination of the requisite surveys and assessments as part of the process.  CSR critically reviewed all supporting documents and assessments and incorporated the various inputs into a single document consisting of four volumes.  CSR also prepared the supporting Planning Statement and Design & Access statements that accompanied the applications.

 

CSR and CTP are currently in discussions with the respective Local Authorities, including statutory and non-statutory consultees to gain full planning permission for the developments before the end of 2014.  CSR, together with input from other consultants are also addressing concerns raised by third parties.

 

wind 3In addition, CSR are co-ordinating the preparation of a planning application (including EIA) for a fourth wind farm for Njord Energy in Powys in central Wales.  This scheme is for six wind turbines with a capacity of up to 15MW.  This application will be lodged by the end of August 2014.

 

Pick and Brick Model Comes to Ireland

Cunnane Stratton Reynolds were recently involved in an application to introduce a new retail format to Ireland. U-Fix Express sought planning permission for the amalgamation of two retail units in Artane for their new hardware store, which is based on the Pick and Brick model.

 

The Pick and Brick model is a new format for hardware stores which has proven very successful in Europe. It is broadly similar to the format employed by Argos. Rather than requiring a large floor area for the display of products, the shops products are displayed in catalogues or online. Customers come to the shop, and order what they require. Small items are kept in stock and sold over the counter. Larger items such as cement, timber, bricks etc. are stored in a centralised depot and are delivered to the customer’s home.

 

The benefits to both the retailer and the customer are clear. The retailer can provide a large range of products but in a much smaller unit than would normally be required. This reduces overheads and allows them to locate closer to the customer base rather than in large retail parks on the edge of towns and cities. For customers it means access to a wider range of hardware products in their local hardware store, without the need to travel potentially long distances to the large hardware stores in the retail parks. The result in terms of planning is more sustainable form of retail development and travel patterns.

Great Northern Distillery, Dundalk

FIN_20130822_BBI_001_28670462_I1Cunnane Stratton Reynolds (CSR) have assisted Great Northern Distillery in obtaining a Section 5 Certificate of Exception for the proposed conversion of the former Harp Brewery in Dundalk into a new distillery.

Under the legislation in order to qualify for a Section 5 exception it must be prove principally that:

  1. The existing and proposed use come under the same class of use;
  2. The existing use has not been abandoned;
  3. There is no requirement for either an AA or EIS; and
  4. The works will have no impact on a protected structure.

CSR prepared a planning statement which demonstrated that due to the significant overlap in methods of production, a brewery and distillery could be considered under the same class of use and therefore there was no material change of use.

CSR with the assistance of Scott Cawley and Mulroy Environmental prepared a EIS Screening Report, and appointed Scott Cawley to prepare an AA Scoping Report. Both reports demonstrated that there was no requirement for either a full EIS or AA.

Teeling Whiskey Company – New Distillery in The Liberties, Dublin 8

Image courtesy of Teeling Whiskey Company and georgeboyledesigns

Image courtesy of Teeling Whiskey Company and georgeboyledesigns

Cunnane Stratton Reynolds (CSR) has recently been involved in obtaining planning permission for an exciting and innovative micro craft distillery and visitor centre in the Liberties, Dublin. The development is the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years, and will reintroduce the distilling of traditional Irish pot still whiskey, to its ‘spiritual home’ in Dublin’s inner city.

CSR were appointed by the Teeling Whiskey Company to oversee and manage the planning application, and to advise on planning policy.

CSR advised the client to lodge one application for distillery and visitor centre instead of splitting the two elements as originally envisaged by the Teeling Whiskey Company presenting a stronger planning and regenerative case to the Dublin City Council and saving both time and money for the client. Extensive work was undertaken by CSR to clarify the zoning, the planning status of the site, and the acceptability of the proposed use on that zoning given the scheme’s regenerative potential in the inner city.

The planning application, under the supervision of CSR, was lodged at the end of September and planning permission granted in December 2013.

CSR are proud to have been involved in this first if its kind in Dublin for over a century.

Cunnane Stratton Reynolds Achieve Substantial Reduction in Development Contributions for a Small Business

Cunnane Stratton Reynolds has successfully achieved a reduction of over 60% in the development contributions for a small business from Dublin City Council. Our client wished to convert part of their house to a commercial use, and had obtained planning permission in 2011 to do so at a prohibitively expensive cost. They had been levied nearly €20,000 in development contributions rendering the scheme unviable. CSR has obtained a grant of permission for the change of use with a development contribution reduced to €7,300.

Park Atlantic Parks and Green Areas Sustainable Management Action Plan

park atlanticIn January 2012 Cunnane Stratton Reynolds (CSR) was appointed to prepare the Park Atlantic Parks and Green Areas Sustainable Management Action Plan. The project required CSR to prepare action plans for the five Park Atlantic partner cities, namely Limerick, Angers and Pau in France, Santiago de Compostela in Spain and Vila Nove de Famalicao in Portugal. CSR was appointed by the Mid West Regional Authority in Ireland, with funding from INTERREG and the city councils of the five partner cities. The project was completed in November 2012.

 

CSR teamed up with Ainhoa Gonzalez (providing GIS, languages and research), Michael Cregan (landscape architect with extensive exeprience of working with and for local authorities) and Optimize Economic Consultants for the project.

 

The project team analysed the parks and green area resources and the management structures of each of the five cites in the form of a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and conducted site visits and interviews with local authority staff to identify best practice in parks and green areas management as well as any weaknesses in the cities’ policy and practice. This work was supplemented by research into international practice, and a theoretical toolkit of best practice in local authority parks and green areas management was prepared.

 

The toolkit addresses policy areas such as green infrastructure, sustainable urban drainage (green streets, green roofs, etc.), urban landscape character and legibility, promotion of good landscape and urban design, the urban forest, urban agriculture, community participation, economic valuation of parks and green areas, resources and funding for development and management, etc. Each policy area is discussed and references to good practice and further reading are provided.

 

The five cities were then evaluated against the toolkit of best practice and any requirements or opportunities for improvements in parks and green areas management policy (including planning and development) and practice were identified in the form of an action plan. The action plan for each city is divided into strategic, medium and short term actions, with the responsible parties identified along with monitoring indicators against which to measure the success of the actions over time.

 

In the final report CSR also includes a discussion of the history of public parks provision and the multiple values of parks and green areas to our cities, asking the question ‘what are parks for?’. The emerging science of economic valuation of parks and green areas is introduced (and explored in greater detail in an appendix prepared by Optimize Economic Consultants). This leads to a discussion of ecosystem services (ESS) and Green Infrstructure (GI) planning as the emerging paradigm in landscape planning and management. 

 

The final Park Atlantic Action Plan report can be downloaded here: 

http://www.csrlandplan.ie/publications.html

 

Cunnane Stratton Reynolds Obtains Planning Permission for New Lawn Cemetery at Esker, Lucan, Co. Dublin

Cunnane Stratton Reynolds (CSR) has obtained planning permission for a new lawn cemetery at Esker in Lucan, County

Esker

Masterplan of Esker Cemetery

Dublin. CSR was originally appointed in September 2010 to design a cemetery on the 2.71ha site. Preliminary site investigations revealed that the site had for a period been used illegally for (inert) waste disposal. CSR’s role was broadened to coordinate the necessary environmental assessments and to bring the project through the planning process.

The suburban site is situated adjacent to the ‘old’ Esker cemetery and across the road from the ‘new’ Esker cemetery which is itself approaching capacity. There is a residential estate to the east, the N4 motorway to the south and to the west an extensive public open space through which the GriffeenRiver flows in a deep valley. The site is zoned High Amenity and is presently used for keeping horses.

The Master Plan

CSR’s design concept for the cemetery seeks to make use of the site’s valuable attributes – including its domed topography, a small stream (currently culverted) which crosses part of the site in a narrow valley and the surrounding landscape features such as the historic cemeteries, the Griffeen River valley and historic planted woodlands – to create a parkland landscape rich in amenity value and biodiversity. The grave plots are divided into blocks by a network of tree-lined roads and paths that follow the site contours. The culverted stream is reintroduced to the surface in a linear water garden enclosed by terraces of premium grave plots. The boundaries are planted with a corridor of native woodland, except along the street frontage where a response is made to the suburban context by improving the streetscape and creating an attractive new ‘place’ at the site entrance. The cemetery buildings, gateway and boundary wall and streetscape paving are deliberately contemporary but understated, and the building features a green roof to minimize its visual impact on a number of taller houses across the road.

CSR appointed Make Use architects to design the cemetery buildings, and Roughan & O’Donovan engineers to address traffic and services including the sensitive issue of site drainage.

Planning

CSR submitted a planning application to South Dublin County Council in October 2010. Due to concerns arising over the presence of illegal waste on the site the Council issued a request for further information (RFI) and CSR coordinated the response, which included an Environmental Risk Assessment prepared by Donal Marron (then of White Young Green Ireland) as well as various ecological and arboricultural reports (prepared by Corvus Consulting and Goodwin-Arborist respectively).

South Dublin County Council granted planning permission for the cemetery in October 2011. The decision was appealed by a 3rd party. CSR submitted a response to the appeal and in December 2012 an Bord Pleanala upheld the local authority’s decision, paving the way for development of the cemetery.