Council cannot 'double charge' for telecommunications pole at Heath GAA club

Council cannot 'double charge' for telecommunications pole at Heath GAA club

An Bord Pleanala has ruled against a decision by Laois County Council to impose a contribution charge of €15,000 on a company operating a telecommunications pole at The Heath GAA Club.

Shared Access Limited, based at Raheen Business Park, Limerick, applied for retention of a 20m high floodlight/telecommunications pole, along with plinths, cabinets and fencing, and permission for replacement antennae and dishes, at The Heath GAA Club in Portlaoise.

The development is part of H3G Ireland’s 3G broadcast network.

The council granted permission, on condition that the developer pay €15,000 in accordance with the council’s Development Contribution Scheme 2013-2017.

However, the company appealed this condition to An Bord Pleanala.

Permission was granted in January 2012 to erect the 20m high pole and retain eight 16m high floodlights, with a development contribution of €14,591 paid.

As the contribution was paid the applicant objected to the council attaching a further contribution condition for the retention of the pole.

An Bord Pleanala has now ruled that the terms of the Development Contribution Scheme have not been properly applied.

As the financial contribution has already been paid and there is no proposal to materially alter the structure, the board concluded that the terms of the scheme have not been properly applied by the council.

“The attachment of the condition would amount to double charging for the same infrastructure and would be unwarranted,” said the board.