Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1537, 1539)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

1537. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of the new rural housing guidelines; when they will be published; if they will be open for public consultation when they are published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18802/19]

View answer

Michael McGrath

Question:

1539. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of the working group comprising senior representatives from his Department and planning authorities, which was established in May 2017 following the Flemish decree of the European Court of Justice in 2013 to review the new rural housing guidelines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18811/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1537 and 1539 together.

Following engagement between the European Commission and my Department regarding the European Court of Justice ruling in the "Flemish Decree" case, a working group was established to review and, where necessary, recommend changes to the 2005 Planning Guidelines on Sustainable Rural Housing, issued under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended. The working group comprises senior officials from the Planning Division of my Department and senior officials from the Planning Divisions of local authorities, nominated by the local government sector. The objective is to ensure that rural housing policies and objectives contained in local authority development plans comply with the relevant provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Taking account of the engagement with the European Commission on the matter and subject to the completion of the ongoing deliberations by the working group, I will be in a position to finalise and issue to planning authorities revisions to the 2005 Rural Housing Guidelines that take account of the relevant ECJ judgment.

I have no plans to hold a public consultation on the matter, due to the extensive discussions and engagement with planning authorities and other relevant stakeholders as part of the Working Group’s review of the 2005 Guidelines.