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Planning Reform must not be at expense of building standards and good planning – Ó Broin

9 August, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin, spokesperson on Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, has said that building standards and planning regulations must not comprised by rushing through planning applications for housing.

Speaking today in response to a Department circular issued to local authorities urging them to give planning applications for housing the highest priority, Deputy Ó Broin said:

“While I welcome the sense of urgency with which Minister Coveney’s department is finally taking on the issue of increasing the private sectors housing supply, building standards and good planning must not be compromised in the rush to push through planning applications. 

“Across the state, people are living with the consequences of bad planning decisions and poor enforcement of building regulations. We still do not have a building regulation regime that is fit for purpose, ensures high quality construction and strong consumer protection. 

“There should be no trade-off between increasing housing supply and ensuring good quality planning and building.

“It is also important that consultation with local residents continues, as strong local input at the earliest stages of planning results in better planning applications and outcomes. Sinn Féin will not support any measure which limits local communities’ ability to fully participate in the planning process.

“The onus to expedite house building should not just fall on local authorities. The Department must ensure that local councils have all the resources and expertise necessary available to them to order to the level of house building required underway. 

“Councils must not feel under pressure from the Department from seeking important additional information from private planning applicants. If there are delays, the Government must ensure that Councils have sufficient staff to expedite pre planning and planning decisions as efficiently and as fully as required.” 

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