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Sinn Féin calls for scraping of fast track planning- Eoin Ó Broin TD

30 July, 2019 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has made a submission to the government review on Strategic Housing Developments. The submission calls for the government to look again at changes that could be made to planning law that would negate the need to extend the legislation for Strategic Housing Developments (SHD).

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“In December 2016 when these planning changes were being debated in the Dáil, Sinn Féin raised concerns about fast tracking housing applications of 100 units or more, to An Bord Pleanála.

“The primary concern was that this change to the legislation bypassed the local authority planning system and weakened the county development plans.

“According to the data on decided planning cases for 100 plus units we received during Committee stage of the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Bill 2016, the average time of the pre-planning stage in 15 applications was 33 weeks, the average time for the planning stage was 29 weeks and then it was 19 weeks with An Bord Pleanála.

“At the time Sinn Féin argued that defining a statutory time frame for pre-planning and requests for further information would significantly shorten the turnaround time for planning decisions and the SHD legislation would not be needed.

“If the Minister for Housing is determined to continue with the SHD legislation then the Department should look at introducing a use it or lose it condition on SHD planning permissions on the basis that works must commence within 6 months. The option of applying to extend the planning permission should also be removed.

“Additionally, An Bord Pleanála should make available to the public on its website all of the documentation involved in every strategic housing development application."

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