Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Questions (347)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

347. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the budget and number of staff allocated to An Bord Pleanála per annum from 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48092/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department engages with An Bord Pleanála on an ongoing basis to ensure that it has the appropriate resources to perform its broad range of functions. The Board currently has a complement of 10 members and has over 160 other staff employed.

Section 116 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the Act), provides for the payment to the Board in each financial year of a grant of such amount as the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government may fix, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. The grant goes towards financing the administration and general expenses of the Board. 

While the grant-aid funding provides for the majority of the Board’s annual income, the Board also generates income from fees charged.  Section 144 of the Act provides for the determination of fees payable to the Board, subject to my approval.  In the main, these fees are payable to the Board by parties in respect of applications for strategic infrastructure and strategic housing developments, planning appeals, referrals, oral hearing requests and certain other matters which are submitted for determination under Planning and Development, Water Pollution, and Building Control legislation.

The following table sets out the number of whole-time equivalent (WTE) staff employed by An Bord Pleanála on 31 December for the years 2016 to 2018 and at 31 October 2019, in addition to the operating budget for the Board over the same period.  The 2019 grant aid figure represents the amount provided in the 2019 Revised Estimates for Public Services. 

Years 

 Staffing* (WTE)

 Grant Aid

 Miscellaneous Income (including income from fees)

 Total Operating Budget

 

 

 €m

 €m

 €m

 2016

 142.10

14.405 

 2.987

 17.392

 2017 

 156.10

17.100 

3.026

 20.126

 2018

 165.9

 17.488

 4.059

21,546

 2019

 170.4**

 18.624

 6.491

 25,115

*Staffing figures are inclusive of Board members and Chairperson

**WTE staffing as at 31 October 2019  

This information, and other related statistics, are available in An Bord Pleanála's Annual Reports, which can be accessed at the following link: http://www.pleanala.ie/publications/index.htm.

I am satisfied that the Board has the necessary resources to deliver effectively and efficiently on its important statutory mandate and functions. I and my Department will continue to engage with the Board in this regard in the years ahead.