Permission needed to turn old Esso site into car park

By Mary Dennehy

COUNTY planners have discovered that the use of the former Esso site in Tallaght village as a temporary car park does require planning permission – as the land is located in an ‘Architectural Conservation Area’.

In July, the prominent village site was cleared and the hoarding removed by Mannings Construction which, working on the new Lidl store on Main Road, plans to use the site as a car park for construction crews until the end of November.

Esso site July 2016

Mannings confirmed to The Echo that it was renting the site for the purpose of a temporary car park for around 12 cars and to also store construction material – and believed that planning permission was not required.

When originally contacted by The Echo, South Dublin County Council said that its planners had no knowledge of the development.

However, this week, the council told The Echo that planning permission is required for the site.

A spokeswoman said: “Following enquiries regarding development occurring at the former Esso site in Tallaght Village, the council’s Architectural Conservation Officer established that as the site was located in an Architectural Conservation Area, planning permission would be required for a change of use to a car park.”

According to the council, a warning letter was issued to the owner/occupier of the site this week in relation to the “creation of a car park and the erection of galvanised fencing without the benefit of planning permission”.

Once served, Mannings can make submissions or observations to the council within four weeks.

Tallaght Central Fianna Fáil councillor Charlie O’Connor, who was chasing the issue with the council on behalf of residents, said: “I think the council were a bit slow off the mark with this one, despite the development being raised with them weeks ago.

“A lot of people have been in touch with myself about the temporary car park and they were delighted to see the hoarding removed and the site being cleared and used.

“However, the galvanised fencing isn’t doing much for the image of the village.

“I think it is now important that the council acts on this and I’m sure that the developer will be responsive to people’s suggestions.”

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