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Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 March 2022

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Questions (352)

Martin Browne


352. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will provide funding to local authorities to enable them to contribute to the non-water infrastructure of housing estates that are yet to be taken in charge; his views on whether local authorities should be able to partially take charge of housing estates that have developer-provided infrastructure in order to cater for their non-water related infrastructure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11258/22]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Financial decision making and the accountability of local authorities is a matter for the elected members of a local authority who have direct responsibility in law for all reserved functions of the authority, which includes adopting the annual budget. Section 103 of the Local Government Act, 2001, as amended, provides for the local authority budgetary process. It is a matter for each local authority to determine its own spending priorities in the context of the annual budgetary process, having regard to both locally identified needs and available resources. This includes the taking in charge of housing estates.

The taking in charge of housing estates by local authorities is provided for under section 180 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the Act), and the procedures for this are initiated under section 11 of the Roads Act, 1993. In addition to financial decision making, the taking in charge of residential estates is also a reserved function of the elected members.

The intention of the relevant provisions in the Act is that once a residential estate is completed, the planning authority can be requested to take over the roads and footpaths, public lighting and open spaces. However, where work has not been completed to satisfactory standards, there can be a delay in this process as enforcement proceedings against concerned developers, including invocation of bonds, are progressed.

Subsection 2 of section 180 requires a planning authority, where requested by the majority of the owners of the dwellings involved, to take in charge a residential estate even if it has not been completed to the satisfaction of the authority, if four years have elapsed since the expiry of the planning permission and no enforcement action has been initiated.

Ultimately, progression of individual developments through the taking-in-charge process is a matter for the relevant housing developer, the residents in such developments and the relevant local authorities, following the procedures set out in section 180 of the Act.

Under Section 30 of the Act, I, in my role as Minister with responsibility for planning, am precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to any particular case with which a planning authority or the Board is or may be concerned.