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Doolan - Minister refuses to fix planning loophole-Doolan

5 December, 2006

Sinn Fein's Dublin Spokesperson on the Environment & Local Government Cllr. Daithi Doolan demanded that the government, ‘immediately review it’s refusal to introduce legislation which would remove a loophole that allows developers in Dublin’s docklands to avoid their obligation to provide 20% social & affordable housing.”

Speaking in Ringsend this morning, Cllr. Doolan said:

"I am extremely angry at the fact that the Minister for Environment, Heritage & Local Government, Dick Roche, has refused to introduce legislation which would remove the loophole that currently allows developers who receive fast tracked planning permission from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, which obliges them to provide 20% social & affordable housing, to simply cross the road to Dublin City Council and get further extensions to their plans in which no such obligation applies.”

Cllr. Doolan explained,

"This fiasco was brought to my attention last week as chair of the Planning Strategic Policy Committee in Dublin City Council. I immediately tabled a Parliamentary Question informing the Minister of the situation and called on him to introduce legislation which would remove the loophole. But unfortunately the Minister has informed me today in writing that he will not introduce this legislation, citing he does not interfere in planning applications. This is totally unacceptable. Once again the Minister has proved that he is incapable of ensuring developers meet their legal obligations.

This city needs social and affordable housing urgently if it is to meet the needs of  people who need housing.  1000’s of people remain on housing lists and the provision of social and affordable housing in the docklands was one means to meet this demand. But Minister Roche sits back and allows developers to exploit the planning loophole rather than challenge them and force them to meet their obligations under the Dublin Docklands legislation of 1997."

In conclusion Cllr. Doolan called on, “the Taoiseach to intervene and ensure legislation is introduced to avoid a planning scandal in his own constituency.”

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