Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Ceisteanna (671)

John McGuinness


671. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the obligations of local authorities in relation to keeping records of the planning permissions granted for quarries and their adherence to the conditions of planning granted; if each local authority has a record of all quarries that are not operating in accordance with planning guidelines or that were operational prior to the guidelines being established; if his Department has a role in ensuring that all registers are kept updated and that all appropriate actions to ensure compliance are being taken; if an audit system is in place within his Department to profile the performance of each county relative to these matters and the reinstatement works required in certain cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37344/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Under section 7 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the 2000 Act), all planning authorities are required to keep a register in respect of all land within their functional areas. In this regard, planning authorities have to include in such registers particulars of all planning applications made to the authority under the 2000 Act, including quarries. The register also includes the decision of the authority on any application, details of any associated conditions imposed, such as reinstatement works, and details of any enforcement notices and action taken in relation to a particular development. My Department has no role in relation to the maintenance of these registers.

Under planning legislation, enforcement of planning control is a matter for the relevant planning authority. Planning authorities have extensive enforcement powers under Part VIII of the 2000 Act to take action where the terms of a permission have not been met.  In addition, anyone may seek a court order under section 160 of the 2000 Act in relation to unauthorised development.

Under section 30 of the 2000 Act, I am specifically precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to any particular case with which a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála is or may be concerned, including enforcement.

In May 2013, a Ministerial Policy Directive was issued to all planning authorities under section 29 of the 2000 Act, reminding them of their statutory obligations under Part VIII of the 2000 Act relating to enforcement. The Policy Directive required that planning authorities ensure that sufficient and appropriate human resources are made available for enforcement purposes. It also required planning authorities to undertake appropriate monitoring of planning enforcement and directed them to prioritise large-scale unauthorised development and enforcement cases.

The Office of the Planning Regulator has powers under section 31P of the 2000 Act to conduct reviews of the performance by planning authorities of their respective functions and to oversee the delivery of effective planning services to the public by planning authorities.