On 30 May 2017, the Government designated 284 hectares lands at Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) under Section 166 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended).
On 29 May 2019, the specified development agency, in this case Mayo County Council, published the draft planning scheme for the SDZ for public consultation for six weeks, closing on 12 July 2019, in accordance with Section 169 of the Act.
The Chief Executive of the planning authority is required to submit a report on submissions and observations received during the consultation period, for consideration by the Council no later than 12 weeks after giving notice of the draft planning scheme. Further details are available on Mayo County Council's website at www.mayococo.ie. Following the Council's making of the planning scheme, any person who made submissions or observations in respect of the draft planning scheme may appeal the decision of the planning authority to An Bord Pleanála within four weeks.
Further to determination of the Planning Scheme by An Bord Pleanála, if approved, the planning authority must grant permission for any development which is consistent with the planning scheme, with no further appeal to An Bord Pleanála against the decision of the planning authority.
The preparation of the planning scheme in respect of the IWAK SDZ is a function of the relevant development agency, in this case Mayo County Council, under Section 168 of the Act and it would be inappropriate for me, given the public consultation process currently underway, to comment on the draft scheme. However, I intend to make a submission in my role as statutory consultee, in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
I do not propose to allocate additional resources to Mayo County Council in relation to the process of preparing the SDZ planning scheme outlined above.