Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (490)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

490. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the steps being taken to implement the recommendations of the National Taking In Charge Initiative Report; the projected timescale for implementing the recommendations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22531/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Findings and recommendations from the National Taking in Charge Initiative (NTICI) were included in a report on the initiative that was published by my Department in December 2018. The report is available on my Department's website at the following link:

www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/national_taking_in_charge_initiative_report_dec2018.pdf.

The publication of the NTICI report is of value to local authorities and other stakeholders in applying the lessons from the pilot authorities, in a more general roll-out of a streamlined approach to taking-in-charge, which is currently in progress, including through coordination with capital works by Irish Water. In this regard, my Department is liaising with Irish Water in relation to the report.

My Department issued Circular Letter PL 02-2019 earlier this year which sets out procedures relating to new arrangements that came into force in April 2019 concerning securities for the satisfactory completion of developments, including bonds, and the application of Irish Water’s Connection Charging Policy as regards such matters. The circular is available on my Department's website at the following link:

www.housing.gov.ie/planning/guidelines/circular-pl-022019-planning-securities-irish-water-connection-agreements

In addition, in 2018, my Department published draft Water Services Guidelines for Planning Authorities under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), which address the issues of bonds and cash securities applied to permissions granted before April 2019. I intend to issue final Guidelines shortly.

The Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) and financial institutions, in conjunction with my Department, are currently considering an approach to the wording and process of future planning security arrangements.

The National Development Plan, published last year, includes a provision for €31 million for the period 2018-2021 for developer-provided infrastructure, commencing with a provision of €6 million in 2019. The multi-annual programme will be initiated through the invitation of project bids from local authorities followed by their evaluation by an Expert Panel, set up by my Department, to independently evaluate the bid projects to be approved for funding.

My Department is currently finalising the details of the programme and it is expected that the invitation for project bids from local authorities will issue shortly, with approval of projects for this first cycle multi-annual programme to take place once proposals submitted have been assessed.