Wednesday, 4 February 2004

Ceisteanna (224)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

315 Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for the Environment , Heritage and Local Government if he will review Sustainable Development — A Strategy for Ireland, published in 1997; his Department's planning guidelines in relation to higher residential densities which issued to local authorities in 1999; and the Strategic Planning Guidelines for the greater Dublin area published in 1999, in view of the fact that they are leading to the destruction of old houses and the construction of massive new apartment complexes of poor design which are out of character and do little to support family and community life in the traditional neighbourhoods of Dublin; and ifhe will make a statement on the matter. [3338/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

The National Sustainable Development Strategy Sustainable Development: A Strategy for Ireland was reviewed in 2002 leading to the publication of the report Making Ireland's Development Sustainable: Review, Assessment and Future Action, as part of the preparatory processfor the World Summit on SustainableDevelopment.

In addition the national spatial strategy published in November 2002 sets out the principles of sustainable housing provision in urban and rural areas. I will shortly issue planning guidelines elaborating on that policy framework in regard to rural housing.

I have no plans at present to review the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Residential Density. These guidelines emphasise that higher residential densities must be coupled with the highest standards of residential environment. The guidelines indicate that in existing residential areas whose character has been established by their current density or architectural form, a balance must be struck between the protection of the amenities and privacy of adjoining dwellings, the protection of established characterand the need to provide new residential development.

The Strategic Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area, published in 1999, are currently being reviewed by the Dublin and mid-east regional authorities. New draft Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area were published jointly by the two regional authorities on 19 December 2003. The draft guidelines are currently on public display until 5 March 2004 and it is open to any interested party to make observations on the draft guidelines during the consultation period. At the conclusion of the consultation period a report will be prepared for the regional authorities following which the guidelines will be considered for adoption by the authorities.