Planning Issues

Questions (465)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

465. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of planning applications for houses, private flats and apartments which have been lodged and granted since the beginning of 2014. [28870/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Planning statistics are compiled by each planning authority on an annual basis for collation and publication on my Department’s website, at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/planning/statistics/planning-statistics-1

The statistics collected relate to the total numbers of:

- Invalid planning applications received,

- Applications received for outline permission and full permission,

- Decisions to grant/refuse permission,

- Decisions issued within the statutory eight-week period,

- Decisions deferred, and

- Percentages for grants/refusals, decisions made within eight weeks and decisions deferred.

The statistics collected relate to the total number of applications and decisions for all developments that require planning permission, broken down by year and planning authority but are not broken down by development type.

The specific information requested in relation to the number of planning permissions granted for a particular development type is not collated or available within my Department's statistics. Individual local authorities may, however, compile information in this regard.

In addition, the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical office, compiles and makes available detailed data on a number of housing related issues including permissions granted. Statistics are compiled by the CSO on the numbers of planning permissions granted by year and by quarter (including 2014-2019), which is broken down by type of construction, including dwellings, with the latest data being in respect of Quarter 1 2019. The statistics are available to view on the CSO website at the following link: https://www.cso.ie/en/statistics/construction/planningpermissions/.

Furthermore, as committed to under Rebuilding Ireland, my Department has developed a monthly housing activity report, which provides monthly updates on a range of statistics. This report is published on the Rebuilding Ireland website at http://rebuildingireland.ie/news-page/.

Housing Adaptation Grant Funding

Questions (466)

Brendan Smith

Question:

466. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if additional funding will be allocated to local authorities in respect of the housing adaptation grant for persons with a disability, housing for older persons scheme and mobility aids grant schemes; if the local authority funding requirement will be reduced; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there are substantial delays in having such applications approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29010/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The funding provided for the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability Scheme to support people living in private houses, has increased year on year since 2014 and I have made a total of €71.25 million available nationally in 2019 for the schemes, which is an increase of some 8% on the 2018 funding.

The approach each year is to issue a single full year allocation to each local authority, so they can plan and implement the grants programme. Over the course of the year, my Department works closely with the local authorities to monitor spend and to achieve a full drawdown of the available funding. This means that if underspends arise on the part of some local authorities, they can be redistributed to other authorities which have high levels of grant activity.

Given that the level of exchequer commitment to these grants has been increased in recent years, I am keen that the full impact is achieved from these increases. Accordingly, I do not propose to assign the increased exchequer funding to substitute for, or to reduce, the local authority contribution.

Departmental Offices

Questions (467)

John Lahart

Question:

467. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the availability of bike parking spaces and lockers in all buildings used by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28692/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

As the Deputy will be aware, staff of my Department are located in a range of locations across the country, a number of which are shared with other Government Departments and agencies.

In general, matters relating to the provision facilities in buildings occupied by staff of my Department, including the provision of bike racks and lockers, is the responsibility of the Office of the Public Works.

I am advised that on occasions staff may request additional bike parking spaces or lockers and that such requests are always granted.

For completeness, I should add that my Department operates a wellness programme and actively encourages staff to use exercise as a means to improve general health.

Ministerial Transport

Questions (468)

John Lahart

Question:

468. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the model of the car or cars used by her in the performance of her official duties; and if it is a diesel, petrol or electric engine. [28708/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

In accordance with arrangements agreed by Government in 2011, I use my personal car in the performance of my official duties. My personal car is a 10D Lexus with a diesel engine which was purchased, following the measures introduced by the last Fianna Fáil/Green coalition Government.