Business of Seanad

The Minister wishes to make a brief statement about Report Stage that will be taken next Tuesday.

Before formally concluding Committee Stage in the Seanad I shall outline, in accordance with the procedures, four of the amendments that I have already referenced in the Dáil and earlier during deliberations in the Seanad. The following list are four amendments that my Department is working on which I propose to table on Report Stage in the Seanad: amend the Derelict Sites Act 1990 to increase the rate of derelict site levy, enabling planning authorities to charge a fee in respect of pre-application consultations with developers in respect of strategic housing developments; make certain revisions to the provisions relating to the seeking of alterations of permissions granted in respect of strategic housing developments; amend the strategic housing development provisions to clarify that such amendments can include the new concept of shared accommodation type units; amend the provisions regarding the strategic development zones to clarify that planning decisions in such areas shall be bound by specific planning policy requirements set out in ministerial planning guidelines; provide for the statutory underpinning of the proposed marine spatial plan; insert some additional provisions related to the disclosure or information and records of the Office of the Planning Regulator, to extend the definition of strategic infrastructural development to include local authority development in respect of which environment impact statements are mandatory required; amend section 50 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 that relates to the special legal costs rules in environmental judicial review cases in order to clarify that the not prohibitively expensive rules relate solely to challenges against decisions taken in implementing the three directives specified in that section - the Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, Strategic Environment Assessment, SEA, and the industrial emissions directives - and not to challenges to decisions taken under any provision of the Act; also extend the special legal cost rules in relation to the environmental judicial review proceedings to include various consents, under the Habitats Directive, and giving enabling power to the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment to include further consents in this regard; provide for enabling provisions relating to political donations in the planning process; a matter that has been discussed in the Seanad and: amend the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 to provide for a number of recommendations arising from a review of the operation of the current tenant incremental purchase scheme.

As Senators can gather, we will have a lengthy list of Government amendments to discuss on Report Stage of this important Bill in the coming weeks. These are the amendments that I wanted to put on the record here today, along with the ones that we put on the records during the last contribution that was part of the discussion in the Seanad. We will have a chance to go through all of the amendments on Report Stage. I appreciate the co-operation of the House for allowing me to put them on the record, as part of our discussion of this Bill.

In accordance with the Order of the House today the Seanad stands adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow morning so Members can all have tea. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The Seanad adjourned at 8 p.m. until 10 a.m. on Thursday, 26 April 2018.