Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (367)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy


367. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the planning applications that have been made to Offaly County Council by the Office of Public Works in relation to the Court House building in Birr, County Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11185/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy may be aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions, including the provision of accommodation for court sittings. However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and have been informed that planning for courthouses is dealt with under Part 9 of the Planning and Development Regulations which do not require a planning application to be made to the local authority. In 2009 the Office of Public Works, on behalf of the Courts Service, commenced a Part 9 planning process with a view to the refurbishment and development of Birr Courthouse and Offaly County Council was consulted in the matter. The Courts Service has informed me that the project was not advanced beyond planning stage due to the downturn in the economy which resulted in budgetary constraints.