Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Ceisteanna (69)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

69. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on the fact that the quorum in An Bord Pleanála is only three members, which means that two members of the board are making decisions on major planning applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51870/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, in general, the quorum of the Board of An Bord Pleanála is three persons, with an option for a two-member meeting, subject to Board approval, in circumstances where the Chairperson considers it necessary to ensure the efficient discharge of duties of the Board.

Separate legislative provisions apply to the divisions of the Board dealing with planning applications for strategic infrastructure development (SID) and, more recently, strategic housing development (SHD). Section 112A of the 2000 Act provides that the quorum for a meeting of the Strategic Infrastructure Division shall be three members. Furthermore, section 11 of the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 also provides that the quorum for a meeting of the Strategic Housing Division is three members.

Both Acts provide that at any stage before a decision is made by either the Strategic Infrastructure Division or Strategic Housing Division, where a case is considered to be a matter of particular complexity or significance, it may be transferred for consideration to a meeting of all available members of the Board.

No changes to these arrangements were recommended by the organisational review of An Bord Pleanála carried out by an independent review group in 2016. I am satisfied with the existing arrangements and have no plans to amend them at this time.