Rent Supplement Scheme Payments

Ceisteanna (662)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

662. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) is in receipt of €270 rent supplement in view of the fact that the appropriate level of rent support for a person paying €500 per month in rent that is in receipt of an invalidity pension only is €361 per month; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28052/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I am advised that the Rent Supplement claim is in payment based on the application and documentation submitted by the person concerned.

My Department has not been made aware of any change in circumstances. If there has been a change of circumstance, the person concerned should contact my Department to seek a review of their Rent Supplement payment.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Benefit Applications

Ceisteanna (663)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

663. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be made in relation to a carer's benefit application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28057/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's benefit (CARB) is a PRSI based payment, made to persons who are providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.

An application for CARB was received from the person concerned on 16 April 2019.

The application was awarded to the person concerned with effect from 18 April 2019 when her carer’s leave commenced. The first payment will issue to her nominated bank account on 4 July 2019.

Arrears of benefit due from 18 April 2019 to 3 July 2019 will also issue to her bank account on 4 July 2019.

The person concerned was notified on 27 June 2019 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (664)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

664. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be made in regard to an application for carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28058/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

An application for carer’s allowance (CA) was received from the person concerned on 11 January 2019.

It is a condition for receipt of a CA that the person being cared for must have such disability that they require full-time care and attention.

This is defined as requiring from another person, continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with normal bodily functions or continual supervision in order to avoid danger to him or herself and likely to require that level of care for at least twelve months.

The evidence submitted in support of the application was examined and the deciding officer decided that the evidence did not indicate that the requirement for full-time care was satisfied.

The person concerned was notified on 21 March 2019 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

The person concerned requested a review of this decision and submitted additional evidence in support of her application.

The review is on-going and once complete; the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (665)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

665. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be made in regard to an application for disability allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28059/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned submitted an application for disability allowance (DA) on 19 March 2019. Their application, based upon all the evidence submitted, was refused on medical grounds as it was not found that this lady was substantially restricted in taking up employment.

The person concerned was notified in writing of this decision on 28 June 2019 and was also notified of their right to request a review of this decision or to appeal it to the independent social welfare appeals office (SWAO).

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (666)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

666. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be made in regard to an application for disability allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28064/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Following the submission of further medical evidence by the person concerned, their case has been reviewed and they have been awarded disability allowance with effect from 2 May 2018. The first payment will be made on 10 July 2019.

Arrears of payment due will issue as soon as possible once any necessary adjustment is calculated and applied in respect of any overlapping payments.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy

Partial Capacity Benefit Scheme Appeals

Ceisteanna (667)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

667. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when payment of partial capacity benefit will be made to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28065/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Partial Capacity Benefit allows a person who has been in receipt of Illness Benefit for six months or Invalidity Pension and who may not have full capacity for work, to return to employment and continue to receive a partial or full payment from the Department. The personal rate of payment is based on the assessment of the person's restriction on capacity for work i.e. moderate, severe or profound, where the person retains 50%, 75%, or 100% of their payment respectively.

An application for Partial Capacity Benefit was received from the person concerned on the 13th December 2018. She was assessed as having a mild incapacity for work and therefore did not qualify for Partial Capacity Payment. She was notified of the decision on the 15th February 2019.

On request, the Department reviewed this decision and a second medical assessment resulted in her being considered as having a moderate incapacity for work which would satisfy the medical criteria for entitlement to Partial Capacity Benefit. A notification issued to her on the 29th May 2019 informing her of this.

However, as entitlement to Partial Capacity Benefit is dependent on a person having an underlying entitlement to either Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension and as the entitlement of the person concerned to Invalidity Pension is currently being reviewed, a decision on her Partial Capacity Benefit application cannot be made until this review is completed.

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Benefits

Ceisteanna (668)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

668. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a form will be signed by her Department (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28095/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The statutory Recovery of Certain Benefits and Assistance provisions enable the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to recover the value of certain illness-related social welfare payments from compensation awards made to persons as a consequence of personal injuries claims. The benefits are recovered from the compensator and not from the injured person.

An application for a statement of recoverable benefits was received by the Department on 18th June 2019 from AXA Insurance in relation to the person concerned. The application was processed on 24th June 2019.

A statement of recoverable benefits with covering correspondence was posted to AXA Insurance and a copy posted to the person concerned on 24th June 2019.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (669)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

669. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when arrears in relation to a disability allowance will issue to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28097/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

This gentleman has been awarded disability allowance (DA) with effect from 16 January 2019. The first payment was made by his chosen payment method on 24 April 2019.

Arrears of payment due, were calculated to take account of overlapping payments, and have issued to the person concerned on 27 June 2019.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (670)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

670. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be made on a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28098/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 8 February 2019.

It is a condition for receipt of a CA that the person being cared for must have such disability that they require full-time care and attention.

This is defined as requiring from another person, continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with normal bodily functions or continual supervision in order to avoid danger to him or herself and likely to require that level of care for at least twelve months.

The evidence submitted in support of the application was examined and the deciding officer decided that this evidence did not indicate that the requirement for full-time care was satisfied.

The person concerned was notified on 29 May 2019 of this decision, the reasons for it and of his right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Working Family Payment Applications

Ceisteanna (671)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

671. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be made on a working family payment application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28099/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Working Family Payment (WFP) is an in-work payment which provides additional income support to employees on low earnings with children.

An application for WFP was received from the person concerned on 5 April 2019.

Their application has been referred to a local Social Welfare Inspector (SWI) for further clarification.

On receipt of the completed report from the SWI their WFP application will be processed without delay and the person concerned will be notified of the decision.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Free Travel Scheme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (672, 674)

Declan Breathnach

Ceist:

672. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason not all persons who have sight loss are eligible for the free travel scheme; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that 700 persons who use a service (details supplied) do not have sufficient vision to drive a car but are also not entitled to the free travel scheme; if the scheme can be extended to this cohort of persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28101/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pat Deering

Ceist:

674. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to examine and change the eligibility criteria for access to the free travel scheme to include those with a long-term eye condition which means their level of vision does not meet the criteria to get a driver licence in order that they avail of the free travel scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28108/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 672 and 674 together.

The free travel scheme provides free travel on the main public and private transport services for those eligible under the scheme. These include road, rail and ferry services provided by companies such as Bus Átha Cliath, Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann, as well as Luas and services provided by over 80 private transport operators. There are currently approx. 948,000 customers with direct eligibility. Following recent announcements in Budget 2019 the funding for the free travel scheme was increased by €5 million to a total of €95 million.

In general, access to a free travel pass for those aged under 66 is linked to a person being in receipt of certain primary Social Protection payments such as disability allowance, invalidity pension, carer’s allowance, blind pension and partial capacity benefit. In 1997 the free travel pass was extended to all registered blind people regardless of whether they qualify for the Department's blind person's pension or any other Social Protection payment. Blind people remain one of the only cohorts of people aged under 66 who can qualify for a free travel pass while not in receipt of a qualifying Social Protection payment.

Any possible extension to the eligibility criteria for free travel would have significant costs implications for the free travel scheme and would also require additional administrative processes to be put in place to adjudicate eligibility. Any decision to do so could only be considered in the context of overall budgetary negotiations.

Under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme (SWA) the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection may award a travel supplement in any case where the circumstances of the case so warrant. The supplement is intended to assist with ongoing or recurring travel costs that cannot be met from the client’s own resources and are deemed to be necessary. Every decision is based on consideration of the circumstances of the case, taking account of the nature and extent of the need and of the resources of the person concerned.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Appeals

Ceisteanna (673)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

673. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when payment of a disability allowance claim will issue to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28102/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Following a successful appeal, this gentleman has been awarded disability allowance (DA) with effect from 3 October 2018. The first payment will be made by his chosen payment method on 17 July 2019.

Arrears of payment due will issue as soon as possible once any necessary adjustment is calculated and applied in respect of any overlapping payments.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Community Employment Schemes Funding

Ceisteanna (675)

John Brassil

Ceist:

675. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an equipment grant will be made available to community employment schemes to aid in the employment of blind and partially sighted persons (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28133/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

My Department provides a range of grants and supports to assist both jobseekers with disabilities and employers to take appropriate measures to enable either a potential employee or existing employee with disabilities to obtain or retain employment. These include the:

- Disability Awareness Support Scheme (DASS)

- Reasonable Accommodation Fund (RAF), which encompasses:

- Employee Retention Grant

- Workplace Equipment / Adaptation Grant

- Personal Reader Grant

- Job Interview Interpreter Grant

The purpose of the Workplace Equipment/Adaptation Grant (WEAG) is to increase the job opportunities for people with a disability by supporting any additional costs, related to the disability, incurred by private sector employers employing or retaining an employee with a disability or self-employed people with a disability.

The general principles of the scheme are that it:

- applies only to the additional costs of adapting workplace equipment or of provision of equipment arising from the individual’s disability. It should not be used to provide support usually provided by employers or supports required under legislation for employees who do not have a disability;

- is a contribution towards the cost of an adaptation or of equipment up to a current limit of €6,350. It can also be used to upgrade adaptive equipment which may have been funded previously. Application in excess of this sum will be considered on an individual basis up to a maximum of €9,523 if specialist training for the assistive technology is required;

- is not intended to meet the usual costs of setting up and running a business either for an employer or a self-employed person;

- will be treated as a grant; and

- may be used in part for training in the use of the grant-aided equipment.

Those eligible for receipt include:

- Any person with a disability who is about to take up employment with a private sector employer, change job as a result of redeployment or promotion, or become self-employed, and who requires assistive technology or an adaptation to the workplace in order to undertake the duties required.

- Any person employed by a private sector employer who acquires a disability whilst in employment, whose employer is participating in the Employee Retention Grant Scheme (ERGS), and who requires assistive technology or an adaptation to the workplace in order to retain his/her employment.

- Any person with a disability who is employed by a private sector employer, whose condition deteriorates so that he/she requires new assistive technology or a further adaptation to the workplace in order to retain his/her employment.

The Community Employment (CE) scheme provides part-time employment and training opportunities in local communities for people in receipt of a long term Social Welfare payment as a stepping stone back to employment. It is important to note that community employment, does not, nor is it intended to, provide full-time sustainable employment. As CE projects are funded by the Exchequer, participation on a CE scheme is not considered as private sector employment for the purpose of eligibility for WEAG.

The Department intends to commence a focused policy review of the Reasonable Accommodation Fund (RAF) in 2019.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (676)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

676. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be made on an application by a person (details supplied); the reason for the delay in same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28150/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned submitted an application for disability allowance (DA) on 5 April 2019. Their application, based upon all the evidence submitted, was refused on medical grounds as it was not found that this gentleman was substantially restricted in taking up employment.

The person concerned was notified in writing of this decision on 27 June 2019 and was also notified of their right to request a review of this decision or to appeal it to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO).

I trust this clarifies the matter for the deputy.

Gender Balance

Ceisteanna (677)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

677. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 96 of 25 June 2019, her plans to undertake a gendered analysis of full employment to establish the gap between male and female participation in the workforce separate from the Central Statistics Office. [28154/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

There is no commonly agreed measure of what constitutes full employment for Ireland. The CSO is responsible for determining the employment and unemployment rates for the State, and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the official source of employment estimates in the State.

The CSO publishes detailed tables on the LFS on a quarterly basis, and these tables include a gender breakdown. The releases from the CSO are closely monitored by my Department, including the gender breakdowns of employment and unemployment.

Examples of breakdowns produced by the CSO include the Labour Market Participation Rates and the Unemployment Rates for men and women; the results from the last five LFS releases are shown in the following table.

Q1 2018

Q2 2018

Q3 2018

Q4 2018

Q1 2019

Male

Participation Rate

68.2

68.6

69.0

68.3

68.1

Female

Participation Rate

55.1

56.4

56.4

56.2

56.1

Male

Unemployment Rate

5.8

6.2

5.9

5.4

5.1

Female

Unemployment Rate

5.5

5.8

6.1

5.4

4.4

The latest LFS results show that over the year to Q1 2019, female labour market participation increased by 1%, while the female unemployment rate decreased by 1.1%. These are both positive developments and highlight the increasing participation of women in the labour market.

The LFS is also used to monitor gender equality in the Labour Market at an EU level. This includes the overall unemployment rates of men and women, as well as analysis of the long-term unemployment rates of men and women. These are illustrated in the following table for the year 2018.

EU average

Ireland

Male Unemployment

6.6

5.8

Female Unemployment

7.1

5.7

Male Long Term Unemployment

2.8

2.3

Female Long Term Unemployment

3.0

1.8

The CSO's Monthly Unemployment release also details the unemployment rate for men and women; in June 2019, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for women was 4.3% and 4.7% for men. This compares to June 2018, when the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.7% for women and 6.0% for men.

Female labour market participation is below that of males, but has increased year-on-year. The unemployment rate for females has fallen year-on-year, and at a faster rate than for men. The detail reported by the CSO in this regard provides great depth, breadth, and regularity of the statistics produced by CSO on gender participation and outcomes in the Labour Market.

Civil Registration Legislation

Ceisteanna (678)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

678. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 159 of 29 May 2019, the progress made in relation to the commencement of section 13 of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014; the position that pertains to the recognition and recording here of death certificates issued in other jurisdictions in respect of Irish citizens who died abroad; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28178/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The commencement of section 13 of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 is subject to engagement by Civil Registration Service staff in the HSE with training that has been developed by the General Register Office of my Department. Officials from my Department are meeting this week with counterparts from the Department of Health and the HSE to progress the matter with a view to progressing early commencement of section 13 and subsequent implementation of the record of deaths abroad.

Disability Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (679)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

679. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a disability allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28190/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Based on the evidence supplied in support of this person’s application, his application for disability allowance (DA) was disallowed on the grounds that the medical qualifying condition was not satisfied. The person in question was notified in writing of this decision on 2 April 2019.

They requested a review of the decision by a deciding officer (DO) and submitted additional medical evidence for consideration on 12 April 2019.

When a decision is made on their review the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Overpayments

Ceisteanna (680)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

680. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) has been requested for payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28195/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

A review of this gentleman's disability allowance (DA) was carried out and it was established that the person concerned had a reduced entitlement to disability allowance for the period 14/06/2000 to 06/08/2002. This resulted in an overpayment being raised against him.

On 27 August 2006, he was notified of this decision which included his right to a review of this decision or to appeal it to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office. No request was received in this case.

The Department is obliged to recoup any debt owing to it and the method of recovery, and negotiations regarding the amount recoverable, are dealt with under the Department’s code of practice.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

State Pension (Contributory) Eligibility

Ceisteanna (681)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

681. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the review of PRSI contributions and possible application of homecaring credits to social contribution history resulting from same; her plans to ensure a person (details supplied) qualifies for the State pension (contributory) as part of the overall ongoing review within her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28257/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Since late September 2018, my Department has been examining the social insurance records of approximately 90,000 pensioners, born on or after 1 September 1946, who have a reduced rate State pension contributory entitlement based on post Budget 2012 rate-bands. These payments are being reviewed under a new Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pension calculation which includes provision for homecaring periods.

Reviews commenced from 13 February 2019, the day after I signed the necessary Regulations which, together with provisions in the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registrations Act 2018, allows the increased payments to be made.

The person concerned applied for State pension (contributory) in January 2018 and was assessed as having 432 paid social insurance contribution. As their contributions fall short of the required 520 paid contributions, the claim was disallowed and the person was notified of this decision at that time.

The person concerned is currently the beneficiary of the maximum rate of Increase for qualified adult payment on their spouse’s pension, which is currently equivalent to 90% of the maximum rate of pension. In addition, the option remains for the person concerned to apply for state pension (non-contributory). This is a means-tested payment, based on the person's share of household means, where the maximum rate payable equates to 95% of the maximum rate of state pension (contributory).

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Overpayments

Ceisteanna (682)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

682. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an overpayment in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will be reviewed in order to ascertain the reason they have been assessed with an overpayment due to a Departmental error; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28272/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned claimed Illness Benefit from 1st November 2018 to 16th December 2018 and nominated her employer as payee. She subsequently made a second Illness Benefit claim from 17th January 2019. This claim continues in payment to the person concerned as she elected that payment be made to herself in her application.

The person concerned was paid beyond the entitlement period to 23rd January 2019 on her first claim due to a processing system problem that has since been rectified. On the subsequent claim the person concerned was overpaid for the period 24th January to 20th March 2019 due to a duplicate payment issuing in error to the nominated bank account.

Arising from this, the person concerned was over issued €1,835.40, of which €746.40 was paid directly to her and €1,089.00 paid to her employer.

A letter issued to the person concerned on the 13th June 2019 outlining how she and her employer can refund the amounts overpaid.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Planning Issues

Ceisteanna (683)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

683. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if there is a maximum permissible length for solar panels to be installed on commercial and residential buildings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27467/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, all development, unless specifically exempted under the Act or associated Regulations, requires planning permission. Section 4 of the Act and Schedule 2 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended, set out various exemptions from the requirement to obtain planning permission. Any such exemptions are subject to compliance with any general restrictions on exemptions set out in the Act or the Regulations and to the specific conditions set out in each class of exempted development in Schedule 2 of the Regulations.

With regard to exemptions for solar panels, Class 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 of the Regulations provides an exemption for "the installation or erection of a solar panel on, or within the curtilage of a house or any buildings within the curtilage of a house", subject to certain siting and size conditions including that the "total aperture area of any such panel, taken together with any other such panel previously placed on or within the said curtilage, shall not exceed 12 square metres or 50% of the total roof area, whichever is the lesser".

Class 56 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 of the Regulations provides an exemption for "the installation or erection on a business premises or light industrial building, or any ancillary buildings within the curtilage of such premises or building, of solar panels (thermal collector or photo-voltaic) subject to certain siting and size conditions including, that "the total aperture area of any such panels, taken together with any other such panels previously placed on or within the said curtilage, shall not exceed 50 square metres or 50% of the total roof area, whichever is the lesser". Additional exemptions also exist under Class 56 for industrial buildings and associated ancillary buildings.

Furthermore, Class 18 of Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the Regulations provides an exemption for "the installation or erection on an agricultural structure, or within the curtilage of an agricultural holding, of solar panels (thermal collector or photo-voltaic)", again subject to a number of conditions.

It is important to note that the total aperture area of a solar panel is only one of many conditions attached to these exempted development provisions.

Any development which falls outside of the conditions for exemption are subject to the planning process and as such are matters for individual planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála.

My Department is currently undertaking a review of the solar panel exemptions, in consultation with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and other key stakeholders, with a view to bringing forward amending Regulations, as may be required - for example, to reflect technical developments in the sector - in the latter part of 2019. As required under Planning legislation, any such proposed exempted development regulations must be laid in draft form before the Houses of the Oireachtas and receive a positive resolution from both Houses before they can be made.

Property Registration Authority

Ceisteanna (684)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

684. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will investigate with the Property Registration Authority the reason for the delay in registering designs (details supplied); if the authority will now expedite the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28129/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

A service for Oireachtas members was introduced in 2006 through which information can be obtained on the current status of applications to the Property Registration Authority (PRA), such as the case referred to in this question. This provides a speedy, efficient and cost effective system through which the PRA can address such queries. This service can be contacted at reps@prai.ie.