Irish Water Expenditure

Questions (362)

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

362. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the amount of the annual payment to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council from Irish Water as determined in the service level agreement between them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15065/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 transferred statutory responsibility for water services to Irish Water and provided for local authorities to act as agents for Irish Water, with this relationship being expressed through Service Level Agreements. The agreements signed by each authority and Irish Water were tailored to the individual authority circumstances, reflecting numbers of local authority staff covered and the operational budgets appropriate to the cost of providing water services within each authority area.

The Service Level Agreements are set in the context of a Framework Agreement for Service Level Agreements agreed at the Irish Water Consultative Group. This agreement outlines that the Service Level Agreement will include a programme to improve the efficiencies in water services operations, including investment in infrastructure and new technologies, training and up-skilling, and reflecting best practice in standard operating procedures and processes. Each Service Level Agreement in place with a Local Authority is supported by an Annual Service Plan which reflects the required programme of transformation for that authority. Funding under each Annual Service Plan is designed to reimburse the local authority for the costs incurred on water services and staffing levels will be reviewed each year as part of the Annual Service Plan.

The Revised Estimates Volume for Public Services 2014 provides for funding of €490m for Irish Water from the Local Government Fund in 2014; the final outturn figure for 2014 is likely to be slightly less than this amount at €486.5m. This will fund water related expenditures incurred heretofore by local authorities from their own resources and general purpose grants. Within this overall framework, the agreement of budgets with local authorities and the payments for services provided are matters for Irish Water. The Annual Financial Statement of each local authority for 2014 onwards will explicitly detail the cost of services provided to Irish Water and the related payments received in each financial year.

My Department has asked Irish Water to put in place specific arrangements to address the queries which public representatives may have in relation to matters pertaining to the operation of water services under the new utility. I understand that Irish Water has made contact with Oireachtas members to outline the arrangements for addressing such queries in a timely manner.

Local Authority Housing

Question No. 364 answered with Question No. 357.

Questions (363)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

363. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the fact that more than 1,300 housing applicants qualified for housing in the Killarney town area his proposals to provide urgently needed funding to Killarney Town Council and Kerry County Council to address this problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15077/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Government's 2011 Housing Policy Statement clearly outlines that the priority for Government is to meet the most acute needs of households applying for social housing support. Government is responding to these needs through a variety of mechanisms and more flexible funding models. To maximise the social housing gain from constrained resources, the social housing leasing initiative and the Rental Accommodation Scheme each play their part and I am fully committed to capturing social housing gain from private developments. Alongside expanding the role of the Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) in terms of acquisitions and construction, other mechanisms will include options to purchase within the leasing model and build to lease.

In 2014, funding for housing, at over €587 million, is effectively maintained at 2013 levels. This includes a €50 million capital stimulus to support construction and related programmes, primarily in the housing area, including €30 million to recommence a State house building programme; €10 million for an unfinished housing estate resolution project; and €10 million for housing adaptation grants. I expect the final output across all social housing programmes for 2014 to be in the region of 5,000 new housing units.

Last month I announced the approval of some 56 social housing construction projects with an overall value of some €68 million under the Local Authority housing construction programme for 2014-2015. This new construction programme will deliver 449 new units of accommodation for people on the housing waiting list. Projects were selected for approval on the basis of the proposals submitted to my Department by the local authorities, the relative priority afforded to each of these projects and the overall level of housing need locally. In the case of Kerry County Council, some €1.8 million was approved in respect of a proposal submitted by the Council for the construction of 13 dwellings, 8 of which are in Park, Killarney.

On Budget Day 2014, I announced details of a new measure with funding of €15 million which will be invested in bringing some 400 vacant and boarded-up local authority houses back into productive use. My Department is currently assessing the proposals recently received from local authorities and I will announce details of the funding allocations as soon as possible.

I also intend to announce details very shortly of the allocations to local authorities under my Department's Capital Assistance Scheme for the construction and acquisition of housing for persons with specific categories of need over the 2014-2015 period. Some €35 million is being set aside for this programme which is intended to deliver in the region of 230 new homes.

I remain committed to continuing to develop innovative and sustainable approaches to the provision of social housing.

Question No. 364 answered with Question No. 357.

Social and Affordable Housing Expenditure

Questions (365)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

365. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a breakdown of the costing of the plan for 35 new social housing units in Darndale, Dublin, explaining the way the total figure of €7.9 million was arrived at. [15091/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Last month I announced the approval of some 56 social housing construction projects with an overall value of some €68 million under the Local Authority housing construction programme for 2014-2015. This new construction programme will deliver 449 new units of accommodation for people on the housing waiting list. Projects were selected for funding approval on the basis of the proposals submitted to my Department by the local authorities, the relative priority afforded to each of these projects and the overall level of housing need locally.

The 35 unit development at Darndale was included as one of the projects to be advanced under this programme. The €7.9 million provisional allocation for this project is an indicative figure based on the cost estimate provided by Dublin City Council. In view of the fact that the procurement process for the construction contract for this large project has not been completed so far, I do not propose to make public any cost-sensitive information which might impact on the tendering process at this time. My Department will be in a position to provide details of the overall project cost once all the tendering and contractual arrangements have been concluded.

Local Authority Housing

Questions (366)

Martin Ferris

Question:

366. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the minimum rent a local authority tenant can pay. [15158/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Each housing authority is responsible, under section 58 of the Housing Act 1966, for determining the rent for its dwellings, subject to complying with broad principles laid down by my Department, notably that the rent payable should be related to household income and that low-income households should pay a lower proportion of income in rent. No guidance has issued to housing authorities in relation to charging their tenants a minimum rent under the current arrangements.

Section 31 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 provides for significant harmonisation of differential rent levels nationally, while retaining some discretion for individual authorities in setting rents in their own areas. I intend to make regulations in the coming months so as to provide for new arrangements in determining local authority rents and in doing so am minded to set a standard minimum weekly rent payable for a local authority dwelling at the same level as the minimum weekly contribution that rent supplement beneficiaries are currently required to pay towards the rent of their accommodation. My intention is that households on higher incomes will pay higher rent on that account. Housing authorities will also be empowered, under section 31 of the 2009 Act, to make a charge in the rent for specified works and services provided to dwellings.

Water Charges Administration

Questions (367)

James Bannon

Question:

367. Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will announce the free allowance per house and if will there be a waiver system in place for the less well-off on low incomes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15163/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 provides that Irish Water can collect charges from its customers in receipt of water services provided by it.  The Act also provides that responsibility for the independent economic regulation of the water sector is assigned to the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and the CER has been given statutory responsibility for protecting the interests of customers.  The approach to charging will be outlined by Irish Water in a water charges plan to be submitted by it to the CER in line with the provisions of the Act. The CER will be responsible for approving, with or without modifications, the water charges plan which will set out the approaches to charging domestic and non-domestic customers. 

An inter-departmental working group has been established to advise the Government on the appropriate method for addressing affordability issues which may arise with the introduction of domestic water charges. The group comprises officials from my Department and from the Departments of the Taoiseach, Social Protection, Public Expenditure and Reform and Finance. A report will be submitted for consideration by Government based on the group's examination of the issues involved and the Government will decide on the proposed approaches to be taken in relation to affordability and the free allowance. 

The Government has committed to the provision of a free allowance, above which charging based on usage would apply. The free allowance and the level of funding to be provided by the Government to Irish Water will have a strong bearing on the net charges to be met by households. Consequently, decisions on these matters will provide greater visibility on the expected level of charges in advance of the final determination of all aspects of the water charges plan by the CER. I expect to bring proposals to Government in this regard shortly.

The CER will announce its decision on the approved water charges plan in August 2014. In making its decision on the approval or otherwise of the first water charges plan, the CER will take into account the decisions made by Government on the funding model for Irish Water, including the funding available for a free allowance and any proposed affordability measures.

National Housing Survey

Questions (368)

James Bannon

Question:

368. Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide information by means of the national housing survey or otherwise on the numbers of houses, apartments, and commercial units that are empty in counties Longford and Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15165/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The purpose of the National Housing Survey (NHS) is to track the extent and condition of unfinished housing developments. The most recent NHS carried out by my Department was in Quarter 3 of 2013.

There were, at the time of the survey, 243 housing units and 40 apartments units recorded as vacant in Longford, and 249 housing units and 35 apartments units recorded as vacant in Westmeath.

The NHS does not survey and record commercial units. All statistics from the NHS are available at www.housing.ie.

My Department collates and publishes a wide range of housing statistics that inform the preparation and evaluation of housing policy and those data are available on my Department's website www.environ.ie.

Data on vacancy levels in completed developments are not among that range as these data are collected by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) as part of its census work. The 2011 Census is published on the CSO website www.cso.ie and it enumerates the number of vacant properties, broken down by county and city.

Urban Renewal Schemes

Questions (369)

James Bannon

Question:

369. Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans for supporting the regeneration of towns such as County Longford and other midlands towns hit by recession where a large percentage of businesses are closed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15195/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The downturn in economic activity associated with the recession has resulted in significant numbers of shop closures and vacant units in town centres. Other factors, such as upward only rent reviews, parking charges, rising energy costs and on-line trading have also undermined the viability of small and medium-sized businesses in the retail sector, threatening the fabric of our urban centres.

To help address this issue, a number of initiatives have been taken by my Department in recent years, as follows:

- local authorities were requested to exercise restraint, or where possible, to reduce commercial rates and local charges to assist local businesses in the current economic climate – the vast majority of local authorities have responded positively to this request,

- revised development contribution guidelines were introduced last year requesting planning authorities to put in place reduced development contributions to support town centre development and incentivise activity in the areas prioritised for development in the relevant core strategy,

- the publication of new guidelines on retail planning last year aimed at promoting and supporting the vitality and viability of city and town centres. These guidelines retained the previous caps on store size in less populated and smaller towns, and were aimed at striking the right balance to ensure that local monopolies are not created in smaller towns which would be detrimental to competition.

In terms of Government action other than by my Department in providing assistance to retail businesses and stimulating economic activity in local communities, a number of measures have been introduced since 2011, including -

- the introduction of the 9% rate of VAT on certain goods and services,

- the halving of the lower rate of employers' PRSI,

- the introduction of the Micro-enterprise Loan Scheme and Credit Guarantee Scheme, both of which schemes have had take-up from the retail sector, and

- the extension of seed capital and the employment and investment incentive scheme to the retail sector.

My Department remains committed to working with other Government Departments, with local government and with other community development and enterprise stakeholders with a view to providing a clear framework for addressing urban centre decline and its impacts on the retail sector, and will continue to explore all options for further action in this regard.

Environmental Regulations

Question No. 371 answered with Question No. 358.

Questions (370)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

370. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will clarify the regulations regarding experimental weather modification and chemical spraying in the skies; if he will clarify the person who carries out this practice; the reason for same; the person who authorised it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15209/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department does not regulate for experimental weather modification and chemical spraying in the skies and is not aware of any such practices having been carried out over the territory of the State.

Question No. 371 answered with Question No. 358.

Building Regulations Compliance

Questions (372, 373, 375, 382, 385, 387, 388)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

372. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his Department considered the potential negative impact which compliance with the public disclosure and lodgment requirements in the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 will have on FDI projects; if any State agencies made any representations in that regard, if so, if he will publish them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15216/14]

View answer

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

373. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the fact that he has confirmed that he introduced the new building control regulations to respond to failures in the residential sector, the rationale behind the regulations being applied to all classes of building construction project, residential and non-residential alike; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15217/14]

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Stephen Donnelly

Question:

375. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will publish the 504 submissions in respect of his draft regulations under the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, published in summer 2012; if he considers the number of submissions received noteworthy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15219/14]

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Derek Nolan

Question:

382. Deputy Derek Nolan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the impact new building regulations will have on the cost of employing tradespeople for one-off housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15292/14]

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Stephen Donnelly

Question:

385. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the consultation his Department undertook with stakeholders outside the construction sector regarding the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15344/14]

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Stephen Donnelly

Question:

387. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his Department has made any estimate of the number of self-build projects that may be delayed or abandoned due to the requirements imposed on self-builders in the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15346/14]

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Stephen Donnelly

Question:

388. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the RIAI has calculated that it will take an architect about 190 hours extra work to act as assigned certifier on domestic projects due to the requirements imposed on self-builders in the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014; if he agrees with this calculation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15347/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 372, 373, 375, 382, 385, 387 and 388 together.

An extensive public consultation process was undertaken in 2012 to inform the development of the revised building control regulations which came into effect on 1 March 2014. Comprehensive consultation documents were published, including Strengthening the Building Control System - A Document to inform public consultation on Draft Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012, which sets out the context in which the reforms – as later signed into law in the form of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 – would operate and the regulatory impact of these for building owners and industry stakeholders. This document remains available on my Department's website, www.environ.ie.

Over 500 submissions were received at public consultation from construction industry stakeholders, individual practitioners and members of the public. Due to the large volume of information received, and given that it is almost two years since the consultation process took place and the necessary regulations have since been finalised and have come into operation on 1 March 2014, publication of the submissions at this stage would appear to serve little useful purpose. I will, however, arrange to have a list of the submissions received placed in the Oireachtas Library for the information of members.

The new regulations will greatly strengthen the arrangements currently in place for the control of building activity by requiring greater accountability in relation to compliance with Building Regulations in the form of statutory certification of design and construction, lodgement of compliance documentation, mandatory inspections during construction and validation and registration of certificates. While attention in relation to defective buildings has focused predominantly on residential property, concerns in relation to building quality are not confined to the residential sector. The obligation to demonstrate that a building has been designed and constructed in accordance with the Building Regulations applies to owners, builders and designers of buildings generally and this is entirely appropriate.

Given that the requirement to build in accordance with the Building Regulations has already existed in law under the Building Control Act 1990, the new regulations should not have any direct effect on the cost of employing a tradesperson.

Meetings and discussions have taken place between my Department and the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation and relevant agencies under the remit of that Department in relation to the implications of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 with particular reference to Foreign Direct investment. Documentation lodged with local authorities for the purposes of demonstrating compliance with the Building Regulations is subject to the Freedom of Information Acts but that legislation provides exemptions and protections in relation to commercially sensitive information.

My Department does not maintain statistical returns in relation to self-build projects. Widespread concerns that the new regulations will put an end to self building or building by direct labour are unfounded. A number of cases have, however, been brought to my attention whereby consumers have been quoted exorbitant charges for professional services in relation to residential construction projects. The new regulations support improved competence and professionalism which will provide additional work opportunities for competent practitioners and construction professionals. However, the consumer should not have to pay a premium for such services and if concerns about value for money for consumers prove to be well-founded, I will consider any reasonable and appropriate steps that may be required to address the issue.

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland has indicated to my Department that the example cited of 190 hours work for an Assigned Certifier on a domestic project is not based on any official communication or guidance given by the Institute to its members.

Overall, some 240 commencement notices have been lodged on the online Building Control Management System since the new regulations came into effect on 1 March 2014. This suggests that the market is responding well to the new regulatory environment and that disruptive effect on construction activity will be minimal.

Building Regulations Compliance

Question No. 375 answered with Question No. 372.

Questions (374)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

374. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his Department considered introducing a system of independent inspection of design and construction, such as can be seen operating in England and Wales, to be self-funded and at no cost to the taxpayer, which could offer improvements on the self-certification system, notwithstanding the submission to him by the National Consumers Association on the draft regulations in summer 2012 and the recommendations of the pyrite report. [15218/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 which came into operation on 1 March 2014 greatly strengthen the arrangements in place for the control of building activity by requiring greater accountability in relation to compliance with Building Regulations in the form of statutory certification of design and construction, lodgment of compliance documentation, mandatory inspections during construction and validation and registration of certificates. The new regulations are necessary following the widespread instances of failure by owners, designers and builders to comply with their statutory obligations under the Building Control Act 1990 to design and construct buildings in accordance with the Building Regulations.

The new regulatory approach was preceded by a review by a high level working group, which included representatives of my Department and of local government (nominated by the County and City Managers Association), which reviewed the building control regulatory framework. This review process was informed by awareness of developments in relation to building control generally in other jurisdictions, including in England and Wales.

In broad terms the building control system in operation in England and Wales can be characterised as a full approval based system whereby local authorities inspect and approve all buildings. Significantly it is understood that a decision to step back from full local authority approval in all cases was implemented in 2005 and since that time the England and Wales systems allow for approval by independent professionals. The cost of full approval by a local authority and the need to optimise the use of Government resources were understood to be key considerations in this change.

A move to a full local authority approval system (even one which allowed for the involvement of private sector operators) along the lines of the England and Wales model or otherwise would involve significant increase in building control staffing and resourcing and would be difficult to contemplate in the present economic environment.

The legal obligation on owners, builders and designers to design and construct in accordance with the Building Regulations would continue to apply. The requirement to demonstrate compliance for approval purposes, whether by a building control authority or an approved independent operator, would mean that the person who owns or commissions the work would necessarily incur the requisite design, building and inspection/certification costs, over and above the administrative charge required to cover the approval fee payable to the local building control authority or approved operator.

Question No. 375 answered with Question No. 372.

Local Authority Staff

Questions (376)

James Bannon

Question:

376. Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the numbers of water service staff who will be retained by county councils following the establishment of Irish Water and if their salaries will be paid by the respective councils or the new company, Irish Water; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15228/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Water Services Act 2013 provided for the establishment of Irish Water as a subsidiary of Bord Gáis Éireann to be formed and registered under the Companies Act.

A fundamental underpinning of the water reform programme is to ensure that the skills and experience built up over many years in local authorities are put to best use for the long-term benefit of the customer and that there is no negative impact on service to customers during the transition. The Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 transferred statutory responsibility for water services to Irish Water and provided for local authorities to act as agents for Irish Water, with this relationship being expressed through Service Level Agreements. The agreements signed by each authority and Irish Water were tailored to the individual authority circumstances, reflecting numbers of local authority staff covered and the operational budgets appropriate to the cost of providing water services within each authority area.

Staff in local authorities conducting work under these arrangements from 1 January 2014 remain employees of local authorities. As such, no staff transferred from local authorities or from other public sector positions to Irish Water. Any employees of Irish Water who came from the local authority sector or from the public service sector immediately prior to taking up a post with Irish Water applied for advertised posts and were recruited through a competitive process.  

The total number of local authority employees (whole time equivalents) working under the Service Level Agreement arrangements on 1 January 2014 is set out in the following table:

Local Authority

Total FTE

Carlow

57.6

Clare

144.7

Cork City

101.2

Cork County

392.0

Kerry

229.4

Kilkenny

82.7

Limerick City

33.0

Limerick County

124.5

North Tipperary

88.5

South Tipperary

101.7

Waterford City

42.9

Waterford County

76.5

Wexford

85.0

Total Southern

1,559.7

Cavan

58.3

Donegal

198.3

Galway City

58.0

Galway County

154.8

Leitrim

44.4

Mayo

191.4

Monaghan

56.2

Roscommon

93.3

Sligo

62.8

Total North West

917.5

Dublin City

674.00

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown

99.25

Fingal

238.47

Kildare

180.31

Laois

83.11

Longford

53.05

Louth

68.15

Meath

117.85

Offaly

53.30

South Dublin

129.30

Westmeath

58.68

Wicklow

86.93

Total East Midlands

1,842.40

OVERALL TOTAL

4,319.6

This headcount will be reviewed each year as part of the preparation and approval of the following year's Annual Service Plan. While this number will reduce over time, the actual headcount requirement is intrinsically linked to the levels of investment within the sector in automation, rationalisation and infrastructure and operational upgrades. The establishment of Irish Water will lead to improved efficiency and effectiveness of water services delivery, with consequent reductions in staffing over time.

Planning Issues

Questions (377)

Ann Phelan

Question:

377. Deputy Ann Phelan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the position regarding establishment of the planning regulator, as recommended in the report of the Mahon tribunal almost two years ago, who would be entrusted with the power to investigate possible systemic problems in the planning system, including those raising corruption risks; if he will outline who the inspector will be; the remit of his or her role; the way members of the public may contact and meet with the inspector in question; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15236/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

At its meeting on 7 May 2013, in line with the recommendation contained in the Final Report of the Mahon Tribunal, the Government approved proposals for the preparation of a new Planning and Development Bill to establish a new Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR). The OPR, which will be established with an independent corporate identity, will have three core functions. It will carry out independent appraisal of regional and local level statutory plans prepared and adopted under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, including development plans, local area plans and regional planning guidelines. The Planning Regulator will advise the Minister on the content of the plans, and, where appropriate, provide advice that all or part of a plan should be amended or rejected (through a ministerial direction). The advice of the OPR will be published.  The OPR will also have investigative powers to examine, inter alia, possible systemic failings in the planning system, again taking account of the recommendation of the Mahon Tribunal in this regard. The OPR will also be mandated to carry out the research, training and education roles identified by the Mahon Tribunal.

My Department is presently preparing a General Scheme of a new Planning and Development Bill giving consideration to the detailed issues to be addressed with regard to the establishment of the OPR, including those raised in the question. It is envisaged that the General Scheme of the Bill will be published in the coming months.

Air Pollution

Questions (378)

Finian McGrath

Question:

378. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on correspondence (details supplied) in Dublin 5 regarding a generator; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15245/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

Section 24(1) of the Air Pollution Act 1987 requires commercial premises to use the best practicable means to limit and, if possible, to prevent emissions from such premises. Section 24(2) of the Act stipulates that an occupier of any premises must not cause or permit an emission in such a quantity, or in such a manner, as to be a nuisance. As statutory responsibility for the enforcement of the Air Pollution Act is vested in the relevant local authority, the matter concerned should be pursued with the Air Quality Monitoring and Noise Control Unit of Dublin City Council, who may be contacted at 1850 365 121.

A public information leaflet How to Make an Environmental Complaint has been prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist members of public by advising what details should be provided to help resolve the problem. This leaflet can be viewed on the EPA website, www.epa.ie/enforcement/report/.