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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 14 Jul 1982

Vol. 337 No. 10

Local Government (Planning and Development) Bill, 1982: Committee and Final Stages.

Section 1 agreed to.

(Cavan-Monaghan): I move amendment No. 1.

In page 3, subsection (1) line 18, to delete "subsection (2)" and substitute "subsections (2) and (3)".

Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 go together. Amendment No. 2 proposes to provide that time shall not run against a developer who holds a planning permission subject to conditions where the conditions are outside the control of the developer. This is a reasonable amendment and I would urge the Minister to accept it. Permission subject to a condition is not available until the condition precedent is fulfilled and the condition I am speaking about is one within the control of the local authority, which is also the planning authority, and I want to provide that time will not run against the developer until the condition has been complied with and the permission becomes available. I could elaborate on this but it is really self-explanatory. There is so much good sense in it I do not think it requires any argument. I know there are a number of planning permissions which will be valueless unless this amendment is accepted. I know the Minister sees the force of my argument and I suggest he could bring in an amendment in the Seanad tomorrow and arrangements could be made to complete the Bill there and bring it back here on Friday.

I see the Deputy's point and I have considerable sympathy with it. There is no problem with regard to new permissions because section 4 covers them. Take for example, an outline permission. That would be in the same situation as a full permission. The real solution to this will be in the guidelines we submit to the local authorities advising them not to give permissions where such permissions are obviously premature, where there is no sewerage——

(Cavan-Monaghan): Section 4 is valueless because it deals with cases where a substantial amount of work has been done. Work would not have commenced in that case at all.

They have until October 12 months to get under way.

(Cavan-Monaghan): They would be waiting for service and that service might be subjected to a bypass.

These permissions should not be given.

(Cavan-Monaghan): They have been given.

All we can do is accede to the sense of what Deputy Fitzpatrick suggests. If it is a question of getting the co-operation of all parties in the Seanad tomorrow I can assure the Minister the Labour Party will try to achieve that. What we are discussing now seems to be the core of the matter.

I have considerable sympathy with what the Deputies are trying to do. It is a question of not leaving the situation wide open to abuse. If there is no agreement on charges as between the developer and the local authority, who is to say if the fault lies on the side of the developer or on the side of the local authority?

(Cavan-Monaghan): But time is going against the developer until the condition is completed.

The developer can for his own purposes sit on it. If for some particular reason he does not want to start work he can just sit there and say he does not agree with the local authority.

(Cavan-Monaghan): The Minister could provide that An Bord Pleanála can decide whether the developer is reasonable or unreasonable if there is a dispute.

I have a new planning Bill coming.

(Cavan-Monaghan): That will not help these people.

It will help the people the Deputy is talking about. I do not want to draft something or agree to something that is rushed because we will only find more problems later on.

(Cavan-Monaghan): That is exactly what we are doing now, rushing this.

I do not like hasty legislation. Can I take it the Minister is now giving the House an assurance that there will be a review of legislation which will embody draft building legislation which will come into this House, hopefully before October 1983, when these permissions will expire, and we will have until then to fine tune the legislation along the lines Deputy Fitzpatrick proposes?

Nothing will happen between now and October 1983 as a result of the passing of this Bill and I give a firm commitment to the House that in the review of the legislation due regard will be had to Deputy Fitzpatrick's point. I shall incorporate in the legislation something to cover the point.

It is now 7.15 p.m. and, in accordance with the agreement of the House, I am putting the question.

(Dún Laoghaire): Just one small point. Is the Minister saying there is no need to add a section to enable local authorities to remove unauthorised structures, either temporary or otherwise, from land?

The existing section 3 of the 1963 Act covers that plus the enforcement section.

Acting Chairman

It is now time to put the question.

Question put:—"that the Committee Stage of the Bill is hereby agreed to and is reported to the House; that the Fourth Stage is hereby completed and the Bill is hereby passed"—and agreed to.