Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (104)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

104. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will consider reviewing section 42 of the Planning and Development Act and Article 45 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2000-2013 with a view to making amendments to allow planning authorities to request further information to be sought on substantive planning issues and to allow conditions to be imposed on the extended permission to address planning inadequacies in the original permission, so as to facilitate a situation where grants of permission can be extended particularly in circumstances where financial difficulties prevent a person from availing of the permission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4843/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Section 42 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 was amended in 2010 to provide for the extension of the duration of planning permission even where substantial works had not been completed, or the development had not even commenced, in cases where the planning authority is satisfied that there were considerations of a commercial, economic or technical nature beyond the control of the applicant which substantially militated against the carrying out of the development.

This is, however, subject to the qualification that there has not in the period since the original planning permission been a new county development plan, or new or revised statutory Ministerial Guidelines under section 28 of the Planning Act, as a result of which the proposed development is no longer consistent with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

I do not envisage making any change to the planning law which would allow substantial planning issues to be addressed by way of what would in essence be a modification of a previous permission; where substantial planning issues are concerned, I consider it appropriate that the public and prescribed bodies should be enabled to make submissions, which would essentially require a new application.

I am prepared to consider, however, in the context of the Planning Bill which I intend to bring forward as soon as possible this year, whether it would be appropriate to provide for a mechanism whereby the relevant planning authority could approve a modification of an existing permission without a new planning application, where the proposed modification is considered minor in nature.