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Whitewash will not cover up need for planning reform – Stanley

13 June, 2012 - by Brian Stanley TD

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the environment, community and local government Brian Stanley TD has said that: “government whitewash will not cover up the need for reform of the planning process.”

Stanley was responding to the Department of the Environment’s report on allegations of planning irregularities.

Deputy Stanley said,

“The public would be excused for forgetting that there was ever a change of government last year. Fine Gael and Labour promised a new type of government. They promised that things would be different.

“Unfortunately little has changed. When it comes to policing, planning and politics, internal reviews are synonymous with cover up. The local authorities concerned, bar Donegal, are all controlled by the coalition partners of Fine Gael and Labour.

“To restore confidence in politics, reform of the planning process must take place. No amount of whitewash will distract from this.

“Sinn Féin proposes to reform the planning process. This reform is radical and solution-based.

“Responsible, ethical and sustainable planning, underpinned by equality, is the right of all who live in Ireland.

“Developers must not be allowed to build new housing developments without taking into account the need for provision of basic facilities and amenities. Developments must be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.

“To thrive as sustainable, all communities require essential physical and social infrastructure. Sinn Féin has developed a ‘Sustainable Communities Criteria’ based on the delivery of economic and social rights. All planning decisions must be meet these criteria before earning the support of local authorities.

“These criteria include a sufficient supply of social and affordable housing, safe water supply, and adequate sewage, access to public transportation, employment, healthcare centres and schools.

“If this government wants to break with the legacy of the past it must reform the planning process whereby power is devolved, decisions are transparent and councils are accountable. So far Labour and Fine Gael have failed on all three.”

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