My Department recently conducted a public consultation exercise on A New Planning and Consent Architecture for Development in the Marine Area. Over 200 responses were received and are currently under consideration. The results of this exercise will inform the drafting of the general scheme of a Bill to update the consent system for developments on the foreshore. I hope to bring the general scheme of this Bill to Government in the near future, with a view to publication later in the year. The Bill will seek to integrate the existing foreshore consent system within the planning system operated by the local authorities and An Bord Pleanála.
Ports strategy is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, who has recently undertaken a major review of ports policy. The new policy is designed to provide a coherent framework for all the State-owned ports and allow for their future development in a manner that suits their individual circumstances. My Department was consulted on a range of issues, including the foreshore consent process, during the drafting of the policy. I understand that the new policy will be published as soon as possible following consideration by Government.