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Local Authorities

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 28 September 2021

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Ceisteanna (363)

Catherine Connolly


363. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the status of the promised review by the Office of the Planning Regulator of Galway County Council under section 31AS of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended, as part of the Pilot Programme of Reviews of Local Authorities’ Systems and Procedures in the Performance of Planning Functions; the timeline for the completion of the review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46546/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

One of the Office of the Planning Regulator’s (OPR) core statutory functions is to conduct reviews of systems and procedures used by local authorities and An Bord Pleanála in the delivery of their planning functions. In this regard the OPR is implementing a programme of reviews under section 31AS of the Planning & Development Act 2000, as amended, whereby each authority in turn will benefit from a review, broadly over a six-year cycle.

The OPR initiated the pilot phase of its reviews programme in late 2020, selecting four authorities for inclusion on the basis of the variety of characteristics, in terms of location, scale, urban / rural settings, etc., across these authorities. The blend of planning contexts offers a good basis for the OPR to test its methodology for conducting reviews and to further inform subsequent phases of the reviews programme.

Galway County Council has not yet been selected for a review. The OPR has yet to select authorities to be reviewed in 2022 and beyond. In scheduling subsequent phases of the reviews programme, the OPR will continue to ensure that a good geographic spread and balance of authorities with varying planning contexts are included.

It should be noted that arrangements have been put in place by all bodies under the aegis of my Department to facilitate the provision of information directly to members of the Oireachtas. This provides a speedy, efficient and cost effective system to address queries directly to the relevant bodies. The contact email address for the Office of the Planning Regulator is oireachtas@opr.ie.