Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (580)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

580. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the headquarters, number of staff and estimated full staff complement of the office of the planning regulator; when it will be fully operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51921/18]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Planning & Development (Amendment) Act 2018 provides the statutory footing for the establishment of the Office of the Planning Regulator. This Act was signed into law by the President on 19 July 2018. However, Part 2 of the Act relating to the Office of the Planning Regulator has not been commenced yet, pending the recruitment of the Planning Regulator who will lead the Office.

The Public Appointments Service has already advertised the position of Planning Regulator and that competition is expected to conclude in the near future. It is intended that the selected candidate will then be nominated to the Government for the purpose of approving the appointment.  It is further intended to commence the relevant sections of the Act, to formally appoint the Regulator and launch the new Office in January 2019.

Following the signing of the Act in July this year, an Advance Establishment Unit was formed within my Department and that Unit has been making the necessary preparations to ensure that the Office of the Planning Regulator will be able to meet its statutory obligations from the time of establishment. The Office will have approximately 10 staff at launch in January and will grow to a full complement of approximately 20 staff over the course of 2019. Interim premises have been sourced in Sir John Rogerson's Quay in Dublin, pending a decision on a permanent location for the Office.