A public toilet is going up on our street, can we stop it?
Most developments by a local authority are subject to a public consultation process
Such works would generally be to improve the amenity of an area or improve business or tourism potential.
There’s work going on at the end of our street, and we’ve just been told it’s for a public toilet. This is news to everyone on the road. Is there anything that we can do to stop it?
It is most likely that the development is being undertaken by your local authority. Such works would generally be to improve the amenity of an area or improve business or tourism potential.
Most developments by a local authority itself, are subject to a public consultation process as set out in the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 (as amended). This procedure requires that public notice of the proposed development be given (including site notice be erected on the site of the proposed works). A period of approximately eight weeks is allowed for public comment on such development proposals. It is possible that the public toilet proposal may have been included in a larger development proposal for the area – for example to include public realm improvements in your neighbourhood.
Following the expiration of the public consultation process, a report will be presented to members of the council (generally a local municipal district committee) and will include details of any submissions or observations received from any prescribed authorities and/or the general public. The report will include a summary of the points made in submissions/observations and the council’s response. The councillors will consider this report and agree to the proposal as originally planned, or with modifications (often to address matters raised in submissions).
I would suggest that you contact your local authority as they will be happy to advise you regarding the statutory/non-statutory procedure undertaken in this case. Details of these developments can also be accessed on most local authority websites (Part 8 development).
Andrew O’Gorman is a chartered building surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie