In January 2020, my Department published the finalised General Scheme of the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill (MPDM), which will provide the legislative basis for Ireland's new marine planning regime. In addition to the legislative underpinning for forward planning provided through the National Marine Planning Framework, the MPDM Bill will also provide: a new State consent regime for the entire maritime area replacing foreshore consenting; development consenting integration into the planning permission system; and robust compliance and enforcement measures.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage commenced pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill at the end of November 2020 and I expect their report shortly. The findings of the Committee's Report will help to inform the final stages of development of the legal text. In the meantime officials from my Department continue intensive and ongoing engagement with the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to finalise the legal text.
I am determined that this Bill, which will lay the foundations for a modern, efficient and Aarhus compliant marine planning system, will be published within the current Dáil term.