Planning and Local Needs


Registered User
Does anyone have experience with Planning Applications in Westmeath. I have a lead on a site in a very sought after area near my hometown. I already have a house in town where i live with my partner. She has never owned a house. I'm told that planning in this area is based on local needs.
Are we wasting our time and money looking for planning permission on a site or would our connection to the area be taken into account. I work locally for a semi-state, I am involved in a local sports club and I also volunteer for a local charity which is based in this area and I need to be able to respond quickly for this charity so proximity is important. My partner is a business owner and is also involved in a local club. Is there any way in the planning process that this can be taken into account?
I had thought about refurbishing and extending an old bungalow in this area but there is very short supply.


Registered User
Listening to the radio on this over the past few days would lead a person to believe that the planners are a law unto themselves. After having pre-planning meetings with them as advised, it only led to more confusion, and refusal, even though people were led to think they would get planning. All this on top of the applicant spending considerable money which in a lot of cases was totally wasted. Naturally enough no town/city/ county planners, or suchlike, would go on the programme to explain so almost impossible for anyone to answer your question.


From reading on here and elsewhere over the years, the fact that you already have a house would rule you out of qualifying for a local need. Are you proposing your partner applies for permission in her own name? Not sure that would fly once they start looking for details of current accommodation.

I'm sure there are planning consultants / engineers that prepare planning applications in that area who would be very familiar with the workings of the local planners and what might or might not work. Talk to some of them, having someone with experience prepare the application and frame it in the right way might help.

The Westmeath Development Plan notes their preference for the development of 'Rural Nodes', any chance this site is within or bordering one of those? The plan also talk of 'Structurally Weak Areas' where local needs requirements are relaxed to encourage settlement.