asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware of the serious inconvenience being caused by the long delay in dealing with planning permission appeals; and if he will speed up the machinery dealing with such appeals.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Planning Permission Appeals.
I am aware that delays arise in dealing with planning appeals. These may be caused by a number of factors some of which are outside my control. I refer the Deputy to my reply of 20th November, 1968, to a similar question regarding the shortage of suitably qualified technical staff which still continues. Every effort is made with existing resources to reduce to a minimum the period taken to determine appeals.
Would the Parliamentary Secretary say the average length of time it takes to get a decision on a planning appeal?
About 30 weeks.
Which question is the Parliamentary Secretary replying to?
asked the Minister for Local Government the number of appeals lodged for County Sligo under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963 for the calendar year 1968; the number of such appeals allowed; and the number refused.
The number of valid planning appeals received in respect of Sligo County Council area in the year ended 31st December, 1968, was 15. Six of the appeals were subsequently withdrawn by the appellants and permission was granted subject to conditions in four cases. The remaining five appeals are still under consideration.
Would the Parliamentary Secretary not agree that something should be done to direct local authorities not to turn down planning permission in minor cases? My experience is that it takes six months at least for an appeal to be dealt with in the Department and in the meantime the people concerned are held up with contractors and all the rest. It is most unfair. A direction should be given to the planning authorities not to turn down minor matters.
For the information of the Deputy, in regard to Sligo County Council only 7 per cent of the total number of applications are rejected. This is a very small percentage of the total.