The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 provides for new streamlined arrangements to enable planning applications for strategic housing developments (SHDs), of 100+ housing units or student accommodation developments of 200 bed spaces or more, to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála for determination.
As part of the new arrangements and prior to making a planning application, a prospective applicant must make a request to the Board to enter into mandatory pre-application consultation regarding a proposed SHD. At the end of the consultation, the Board issues its opinion as to whether the documents submitted with the consultation request constitute a reasonable basis for a planning application to be submitted or alternatively require further consideration and amendment in order to constitute a reasonable basis for an application.
All SHD pre-application consultations to date involved:
- liaising with planning authorities;
- holding tri-partite meetings involving the Board, the local planning authority and the developer; and
- forming an opinion.
All these consultations have adhered to the timelines outlined in the Act.
Further to the submission of a planning application to the Board for a proposed SHD, the Board is required to make a determination on each such application within a period of 16 weeks. As of 21 February 2018, the Board had received 16 planning applications and had issued decisions in respect of 3 cases, each of which were made within the statutory mandatory timeframe. The nature of the decision on individual cases is a matter for the Board and is not a matter in which my Department can become involved.
I am satisfied that the new fast-track SHD arrangements are being implemented in an effective and efficient manner.
Questions Nos. 40 to 42, inclusive, answered orally.