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Ó Broin seeks legal advice on legal status of National Planning Framework

19 February, 2018 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoin Ó Broin TD has written to the Oireachtas Housing Committee requesting that independent legal advice be sought in relation to the legislative status of the National Planning Framework (NPF).

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Last week, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy deliberately misled the Dáil. They wrongly stated that the National Planning Framework did not require Oireachtas approval in order to be placed on a statutory footing while at the same time claiming that such a vote took place last year.

“Section 20(c) 8 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2016 currently before the Seanad is clear that approval of each House of the Oireachtas is necessary for the planning policy to take legislative effect.

“No vote has taken place to date to approve the plan in either draft or final form. Last October, a vote was taken to refer the draft NPF to the Housing Committee for comment. 

“This is not a minor technical matter. If the NPF is not on a statutory footing, it will remain just another aspirational document. 

“As the Government seem intent on misleading the Oireachtas and the public on the matter IO have written to the Oireachtas Housing Committee chair requesting that our committee seeks independent legal advice to settle the matter.

“My request for legal advice will be discussed before this Thursdays’ committee meeting and I hope it will be supported by the other members. We need clarity on this issue as soon as possible.” 

Note : Please see the email requesting legal advice below

A chara,

I am mailing to request that the Oireachtas Housing Committee seek legal advice on the process for placing the National Planning Framework on a statutory footing.

Specifically, I would like the Committee toi seek legal opinion on the following questions:

1. Does the motion passed by both Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann on 3rd October 2017 in relation to the Draft National Planning Framework constitute "approval of each House of the Oireachtas" as set out in Section 20(c) 8 of the Planning and Development Bill 2016 currently before the Seanad 

2. If this motion does not constitute "approval" as set out in the relevant legislation  are the Taoiseach and Minister for Housing legally correct in saying that the National Planning Framework will be on a statutory footing once this Bill become law (Taoiseach made this claim during Leaders Questions on Wednesday 14th February 2017 and Minister for Housing repeated this claim during Questions on Promised Legislation on Thursday 15th February 2018).

3. If the Taoiseach and Minister for Housing are not legally correct on thsi matter what are the implications of the National Planning Framework not being on a statutory footing and how can the National Planning Framework be put on a statutory footing either via the Planning and Development Bill 2016 or via some other mechanism.

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