Seven Dublin creches issued with warnings over planning breach
Seven creches in Dublin have been issued with warning letters for breaches of planning laws.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said it issued the warnings after receiving a complaint on the issue.
It is understood that more than 50 premises were identified in the complaint.
The Association of Childhood Professionals (ACP) said the problem was “a huge issue” with potential legal and insurance ramifications.
These planning warning letters stated that the childcare facilities were operating in breach of planning conditions or, in one instance, had no planning permission.
The businesses involved were each given four weeks to respond to the warnings.
A number of those involved told the Herald they had since been in contact with the council to resolve the issues raised.
In the case of Star Tots Creche and Montessori in Lower Kilmacud Road, the facility was issued a warning letter on July 17. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council said it was investigating the alleged breach of a planning condition limiting numbers at the creche to 54. The most recent Tusla report said that the number of notified places was 117.
Proprietor of Star Tots Creche and Montessori, Natalie Roberts said that she had been “very naive” about the planning process and was now applying for retention permission.
She said the council was happy for the creche to continue operating while the application was being considered.
“I didn’t realise one of the conditions was that you were only allowed to have a certain amount of children. Otherwise, I would have rectified it a long time ago,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dimples Creche & Montessori, Ballyogan Road, Carrickmines were issued with a letter stating that it was investigating allegations that in excess of 40 children were being catered for, in breach of planning conditions.
Proprietor Jason Doyle said that the premises had been expanded and a planning application was being submitted to regularise the situation.
He said a fire certificate had already been secured.
Separately, a warning letter issued on July 20 by the council to Hanahoe Childcare, Ballinclea Heights, Killiney, stated that it was being investigated over an allegations that the business was breaching a planning condition limiting its capacity to 16 children.
Ann Hanahoe, proprietor of Hanahoe Childcare, said she had 20 children attending her service. She said the HSE had
approved the premises for up to 24 children a number of years ago. She has now engaged an architect to deal with the council’s planning concerns.
A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs said persons intending to provide a childcare service must obtain planning
The only exemption is for child minding in a person’s home involving no more than five children. It is also a term of the free pre-school year scheme that participating businesses must be compliant with all planning and fire-safety legislation.