Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (446)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

446. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on the proposal to introduce a levy or tax on unused land, particularly land in prime urban locations. [1509/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

As Minister for Housing and Planning, my role in relation to the planning system is to oversee the provision and updating of the planning legislative and policy framework, including as articulated through statutory planning guidelines, to secure the proper planning and sustainable development of the country as a whole, including urban areas. While responsibility for the planning of cities, towns, urban and rural areas is a matter for local authorities within this framework, I am continuing to ensure that the most relevant legislative and policy framework is available to support authorities in the exercise of their planning functions and facilitate the adequate and appropriate provision of facilities, infrastructure and development to support residential and commercial developments within their areas. In this regard, I continue to keep under review the need for any further provisions, and where I am satisfied there is a sufficient evidence base, I will advance proposals accordingly, including any appropriate targeted measures for urban areas such as measures to encourage landowners or developers to bring forward sustainable urban development proposals. I remain committed to ensuring that the planning system supports our recovering economy, and sustainable communities, facilitating greater numbers of people to live in city centre areas and addressing the often visible eyesores associated with unused urban sites.