Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Questions (734, 735, 736, 749, 750, 751)

Clare Daly

Question:

734. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will request Fingal County Council to provide him with a comprehensive briefing on the substance of all postal and online submissions made through the public consultation phase of the draft Castlelands, Balbriggan, development master plan (details supplied); if the council will be instructed to defer further action on the plan pending a review by him of the substantive briefing; if his views on the briefing will be made available before the plan is progressed by the council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26192/19]

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Clare Daly

Question:

735. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if Fingal County Council will be instructed that if as the Castlelands, Balbriggan, development draft master plan (details supplied) is to be progressed, it must be amended as necessary in order that it is fully aligned with the new eastern and midlands regional spatial and economic strategy as developed within the national planning framework under Project Ireland 2040 and specifically to ensure that the plan is aligned comprehensively with the designation of Balbriggan by the regional spatial and economic strategy, RSES, as a small hinterland town that is not suitable for and is not to receive high-density and-or high-rise development. [26193/19]

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Clare Daly

Question:

736. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will request Fingal County Council to provide a copy of all internal correspondence and relevant planning written and email documentation between the planning division and the Our Balbriggan project of the council from the inception of the project to date in respect of the draft Castlelands, Balbriggan, development master plan published on 7 May 2019 (details supplied). [26194/19]

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Darragh O'Brien

Question:

749. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will request Fingal County Council to provide him with a comprehensive briefing on the substance of all postal and online submissions made through the public consultation phase of the draft Castlelands, Balbriggan, development master plan that opened on 7 May 2019 and closed on 28 May 2019 (details supplied); if the council will be instructed to defer further action on the plan pending a review by him of the substantive briefing; if his views on the briefing will be made known before the plan is progressed further by the council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26430/19]

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Darragh O'Brien

Question:

750. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if Fingal County Council will be instructed that if as the draft Castlelands, Balbriggan, development master plan published 7 May 2019 (details supplied) is to be progressed, it must be amended as necessary in order that it is fully aligned with the new eastern and midlands regional spatial and economic strategy as developed within the national planning framework under Project Ireland 2040 and, specifically, to ensure that the plan is aligned comprehensively with the designation of Balbriggan as a small hinterland town that is not suitable for and is not to receive high-density and-or high-rise development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26431/19]

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Darragh O'Brien

Question:

751. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will request Fingal County Council to provide a copy of all internal correspondence and relevant planning documentation written and email between the planning division and the Our Balbriggan project of the council from the inception of the project to date in respect of the draft Castlelands, Balbriggan, development master plan published on 7 May 2019 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26432/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 734 to 736, inclusive, and 749 to 751, inclusive, together.

Masterplans are not statutory plans in their own right. Accordingly, such plans, and the information sought in relation to the Castlelands Masterplan in particular, are a matter for the local planning authority and, as Minister, I have no direct function in the adjudication of the masterplan preparation process.

The preparation of the Castlelands Masterplan within Balbriggan is a requirement of the Fingal County Development Plan 2017-2023, for lands that are primarily subject to a zoning objective to “Provide for new residential communities, subject to the provision of the necessary social and physical infrastructure.” This requirement is for one of a total of eight such Masterplan areas within Balbriggan under the Fingal County Development Plan.

While Masterplans are not formal statutory development plans under the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), they may be prepared in order to set out further technical detail in respect of zoned amenity and/or development lands, to inform future planning applications and/or ‘Part 8’ Local authority consent processes.

Proposals for development set out in Masterplans further to a County Development Plan are required to be consistent with national and regional development objectives and any relevant specific planning policy requirements set out in ministerial guidance. As part of a masterplan consultation process, a planning authority may invite the submissions and observations of interested parties, and this may inform the outcome of the masterplan process.

In cases where a masterplan informs the preparation of a planning application in full or in part, the assessment of any subsequent planning applications pursuant to that masterplan, is the stage of the development process at which the intended outcome of the masterplan, in full or in part, is subject to formal determination by the local planning authority or An Bord Pleanála.

The non-statutory nature of masterplans means that the local planning authority or An Bord Pleanála are not required to be bound by all of the objectives of a masterplan in the determination of a planning application. This is particularly relevant where a masterplan is deemed to be not consistent with national and regional development objectives or any relevant specific planning policy requirements set out in Ministerial guidance.

It remains the right of interested parties to make a submission in respect of any planning application on lands subject to a masterplan and to also make a subsequent appeal to An Bord Pleanála (if submissions have been made to the local authority in respect of the relevant planning application). In the case of strategic housing development (also known as ‘SHD’), for proposals with more than 100 dwellings, there is also provision for submissions to be made by any interested party to An Bord Pleanála as part of the application process.

Under Section 30 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), as Minister, I am specifically precluded from exercising power or control in relation to any particular case with which a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála is or may be concerned.