An examination of the interface between the planning control and integrated pollution control licensing systems
Prior to the introduction of Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licensing in 1994 environmental control was operated at local level by local authorities. For most developments planning permission was required and there were separate licensing systems controlling air, water and waste. IPC licensing was introduced for a limited number of larger scheduled activities and is now operated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In cases where there is a licensable activity, planning control is the responsibility of the planning authority and, in the event of an appeal, an independent appeals board An Bord Pleanála. Legislation defines the extent and nature of the responsibilities of the planning authority and the EPA in operating these two separate control systems. Experience to date reveals a number of ‘problem areas’ which have arisen in the interface between the planning control and IPC licensing systems. This thesis details the legislative background to the new dual system of control and examines the role of the various bodies involved in environmental control. The ‘problem areas’ at the interface are identified and discussed under the general headings of land use decision making, construction vs activity, environmental impact statements and assessments and other procedural matters. Under the dual system of control which is applied when a proposed activity is licensable, the planning authority and An Bord Pleanála are prevented from considering matters relating to the risk of environmental pollution. It is submitted that this restriction has significant consequences with regard to land use decision making, the importance of the statutory development plan as a tool in development control, environmental impact assessments, and public participation in the decision making process. The systems of control applied in the UK (England and Wales) and Holland are examined and comparisons with the Irish systems of control are made. The final chapter draws conclusions and makes recommendations for overcoming the ‘problem areas’ identified in Ireland. It is recommended that there should be a clear and readily identifiable demarcation of responsibilities between the planning authorities and the EPA. Land use decision making should be based on the consideration of all matters relating to the proper planning and development of the area, including those relating to environmental pollution. The contents of Development Plans should be strengthened and expanded. The EPA should have statutory roles to play in the drafting and making of development plans and the land use decision making process where a licensable activity is concerned. IPC licensing should apply to all phases of a development. Consideration should be given to a ‘two-stage’ IPC licensing system or, alternatively, to a requirement that planning and IPC licence applications be made simultaneously. Public participation in the decision making process should be encouraged. There should be one competent authority for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and this should be the planning authority. There should be a formal consultation process between the planning authority and the EPA for EIA. If, in the case of proposed local authority landfill sites, the land use decision making function is to be the responsibility of the EPA, the Agency should be required to engage land use expertise in order to carry out this function. Scheduled activities should be more clearly defined and guidelines issued on methods of calculating threshold capacities.
- Theses - Science ITS 
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