Thursday, 4 March 2004

Questions (63)

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

53 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he has issued a directive to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council concerning the draft development plan; the persons who made representations to him regarding the matter; the previous occasions on which a similar directive was issued to a local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7128/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

On 9 February 2004, I issued a direction under section 31(1) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in regard to the draft Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Development Plan 2004-2010. A planning authority is required to comply with any such direction.

The direction judges that the draft Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown county development plan is deficient in that it does not zone sufficient residential land in order to satisfy the requirements of the council's housing strategy; such sufficient zoning is required under section 95(1)(a) of the Planning and Development Act 2000. Accordingly, the direction requires the council to amend the draft development plan to ensure that sufficient and suitable land is zoned as residential or for a mix of residential and other uses in order to meet the requirements of the housing strategy. Decisions as to the specific lands to be zoned in order to meet this requirement are entirely a matter for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

In regard to the direction, I received correspondence from the Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and from the county manager requesting the issuing of such a direction. I have also received correspondence from residents' organisations and from private individuals on matters relating to the zoning of land in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area.

The power to issue directions in regard to draft development plans is a relatively new provision in planning legislation introduced under the Planning and Development Act 2000. No other similar directive has so far been issued.