Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (417, 418, 419)

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

417. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if local authorities are obliged to follow the development contributions guidelines for planning authorities as issued by his Department. [12944/13]

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Eoghan Murphy

Question:

418. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if local authorities are obliged to follow the development contributions guidelines for planning authorities. [12945/13]

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Eoghan Murphy

Question:

419. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 214 of 27 February 2013, if he will clarify the meaning of his statement that guidelines published by Dublin City Council are substantially in accordance with the draft guidelines. [12946/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 417 to 419, inclusive, together.

My role, as Minister, is to provide the necessary statutory and policy framework within which individual development contribution schemes are adopted by each local authority. The adoption of individual development contribution schemes is a reserved function of the locally elected members of each planning authority. While planning authorities, and An Bord Pleanála, are required to have regard to the guidelines in performance of their functions under the Planning Acts, it is a matter for the members to determine the level of contributions and the types of developments to which they will apply. Dublin City Council’s current development contributions scheme was adopted by the elected members before the publication of the new statutory guidelines. Nevertheless, the scheme reflects very closely the final content of the statutory guidance and contains several innovative provisions that are fully consistent with the pro-jobs/pro-planning objectives of the guidelines.

The guidelines were issued under section 28 of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 - 2012. This means that planning authorities are required to have regard to the guidelines in performance of their functions under the Planning Acts. However, the guidelines do not seek to alter the roles and functions of the elected members, the executive functions of local authorities or the role of my Department. They are intended, rather, to provide the necessary statutory and policy framework within which individual development contribution schemes are adopted by each local authority.