Legislative provision already exists to ensure appeals to An Bord Pleanála can identify appellants and gives the Board the discretion to dismiss appeals.
Appeals to the Board are made under section 37 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, as amended (the 2000 Act), where an appeal is lodged the applicant must provide a name and address and pay the prescribed fee for the appeal. The appellants name is published by the Board on the weekly lists on their website www.pleanala.ie/lists/2019/new/index.htm, therefore the appellant is clearly identified.
Appellants to the Board must be a developer (first party) who sought the original planning decision from the planning authority or a third party who has made a submission on the original planning application to the planning authority regarding a proposed development. The process is set out on the Boards website www.pleanala.ie/appeals/appeal_guide.htm.
The procedure for making submissions to the planning authority in respect of an application for planning permission are set out under article 29(1) of the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001, as amended (the 2001 Regulations), and requires the person making the submission to state their name and address and pay a prescribed fee. Under Article 29(2) of the 2001 Regulations the Planning Authority shall acknowledge receipt of the submission with a document in the format of Form No.3 of Schedule 3 of the regulations. This form is an important document and is required to be produced when making an appeal to the Board and provides a level of verification for Planning Appeals.
The Board may, in its absolute discretion, hold an oral hearing under section 134 of the Act to determine whether to dismiss an appeal in the below circumstances. The Board at its discretion can compel appellants to appear at the Oral hearing to make submissions.
Section 138 of the 2000 Act provides that the Board may dismiss an appeal at its absolute discretion where, having considered the grounds of appeal or any other matter to which, by virtue of the Act, the Board may have regard in dealing with or determining the appeal, the Board is of the opinion that the appeal or referral is vexatious, frivolous or without substance or foundation, or is made with the sole intention of delaying the development or the intention of securing the payment of money, gifts, consideration or other inducement by any person.