Sinn Féin introduces bill to appoint independent Planning Regulator
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the environment and local government Brian Stanley TD, moved a bill this afternoon that would establish an office of Independent Planning Regulator, as recommended by the Mahon report.
He said that the need for such an office was underlined by recent revelations regarding the willingness of several local authority councillors to engage in corrupt relationships with developers.
Deputy Stanley said:
“This government pledged in 2011 that it would implement all of the recommendations of the Mahon report. It has implemented some, but has so far not brought forward legislation to establish an office of a Planning Regulator, one of Mahon’s key recommendations.
“Nor does its proposal fulfil the recommendation that such an office be independent. My bill provides that such a regulator would be appointed by the Public Appointments Service following open competition.
“The urgent need for an independent regulator has been underlined by recent revelations that some elected representatives are unfortunately still will to sell themselves to the highest bidder. The Planning Regulator would have the powers to investigate allegations of this nature and to ensure greater transparency in the planning process as a whole.
“Given the fact that we are only a matter of weeks away from the end of this Dáil, and the likelihood that the Government will not bring forward its own proposal, I would ask them to support my Bill.”