Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (680)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

680. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he is satisfied with the staffing levels of An Bord Pleanála in order to deal effectively with the large number of planning applications and planning appeals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51847/19]

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 which includes planning appeals, strategic infrastructure and strategic housing development planning applications, vacant site levy appeals and other matters which are submitted for determination under Planning and Development, Water Pollution, and Building Control legislation.

Further to the introduction of the strategic housing development functions under the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016, which the Board took on in 2017, a new Strategic Housing Division of the Board was established to decide on these applications, involving the recruitment of an additional dedicated 10 professional and administrative staff members in 2017. Two additional Board members were also sanctioned to serve this Division, with the appointments being made in 2018.

The Board currently has a complement of 10 members and has over 160 other staff employed. 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.