Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (287)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

287. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the details of the development application tracking system utilised by the NPWS for the purpose of assessing development applications on lands designated as special areas of conservation; the procedures to be followed with respect to the usage of the system; if the system and rules governing its usage are employed and implemented universally across all NPWS areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51439/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

In accordance with regulations under the Planning and Development Act, 2000 as amended, planning applications lodged with planning authorities that have the potential to impact on built, archaeological, or natural heritage must be referred to the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The Minister is one of a number of such statutory consultees also known as prescribed bodies.

In any such capacity, the Minister may make submissions or observations to assist the responsible authority in carrying out its functions, including consent functions, in compliance with various legislative and administrative requirements with respect to the conservation, protection and preservation of natural and built heritage.

My Department uses an internal IT system called the Development Application Tracking System to track development applications referred to my Department by the various authorities which may have an impact on the built and natural environment. The system is used to manage and co-ordinate observations and submissions on development applications made by the relevant professional streams within the built and natural heritage areas of my Department and to monitor and record any responses made to the planning and consent authorities.

Nominated users are granted authorisation to access the Development Applications Tracking System by the administrators within the Department and are trained in its use. The Development Applications Tracking System is an automated work flow system which replicates the planning process and streamlines business processes for optimal efficiency. It allows the Department to manage and monitor users and usage of the system. Depending on the type of development referred to the Department there is a workflow or routing set up within the system to manage the application through the internal review process. Users of the system are restricted to following that workflow process.