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Planning Issues

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Ceisteanna (266)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

266. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address concerns that the timeframe in which An Bord Pleanála issues decisions on one-off rural housing applications is in ongoing contravention of the compliance target set out in the performance delivery agreement between An Bord Pleanála and his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53754/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

An Bord Pleanála (the Board) is the national independent statutory body with responsibility for the determination of planning appeals and direct applications for strategic infrastructure and other developments under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, and certain other Acts.

Section 126 of the Act provides that it shall be the duty and objective of the Board to decide appeals as expeditiously as may be and, for that purpose, to take all such steps as are open to it to ensure that, insofar as is practicable, there are no avoidable delays at any stage in the determination of appeals.

Section 126 also provides that it shall be an objective of the Board to ensure that every appeal is determined within 18 weeks beginning on the date of receipt of an appeal. Where it is not possible or appropriate, because of the particular circumstances of an appeal, to determine an appeal within the 18 week period the Board is required to notify the participants in the appeal before the expiration of that period giving the reason for not meeting the objective target and specifying a date before which the Board intends to determine the appeal. Where any case has exceeded the statutory objective period then the Board will have written to the parties involved as per these statutory requirements. In circumstances where any new date is not met, it is my understanding it is the practice of the Board to also notify the parties of that and the reason for the further delay.

The Board’s 2021 Performance Delivery Agreement with the Department reflects an overall target to determine 60% - 75% of all normal planning appeal cases within the 18 week statutory objective period. I understand that, as at end September 2021, 61% of all such cases disposed were concluded within this 18 week target. One-off rural housing appeals fall within the category of normal planning appeals.

It is acknowledged that a certain percentage of cases, due to particular circumstances, such as complexity, requests for further information from applicants for permission or further submissions from other participants including third parties, will not meet the 18 week target.

My Department will continue to liaise closely with the Board to ensure that it has appropriate resources to maintain and improve its compliance rate, in line with its annual Performance Delivery Agreement targets.

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