Thursday, 4 November 2004

Questions (88)

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

75 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he intends to introduce legislation regarding planning; the purpose and main provisions of such legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27316/04]

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

The Planning and Development Act 2000,which was based on a widespread consultation process, represented the most far-reaching reform of the planning system since the original 1963 Act. The Act revised, extended and consolidated the legislative basis for the Irish planning system. There are no plans for widescale amendment of primary planning legislation, although this is kept under review in my Department.

However, the Department is considering submissions received on draft regulations which will amend the Planning and Development Regulations 2001. These regulations contain proposals to further streamline the planning application process. In particular, a standard planning application form is proposed for use by all planning authorities. The draft regulations are available on my Department's website atwww.environ.ie.

The Department has also been examining legislation on development consent for major projects to ensure we have the best possible system for the timely and cost effective delivery of infrastructure. Having examined the problems that have arisen in the area, it is considered that legislation is desirable to address some issues arising in the approval process. In general terms, it is intended in this proposed legislation to reduce the time required for obtaining development consent for necessary major public projects and to co-ordinate and streamline the different procedures now involved, while respecting the requirements of environment and heritage protection and the need for adequate public consultation.