Thursday, 9 March 1939
Dáil Éireann Debate
(2) This Act shall be construed as one with the Principal Act and, accordingly, every expression and word to which a particular meaning is given by the Principal Act for the purposes of that Act shall, in and for the purposes of this Act, have the meaning so given.
So much of sub-section (1) of section 26 of the Principal Act as requires one month's notice of the intention to propose the resolution mentioned in that sub-section to be given to every member of the planning authority shall be construed and have effect, and be deemed always to have had effect, as requiring such notice to be given to those persons only who are or were members of the planning authority at the time when such notice is or was given and, accordingly, no such resolution shall be invalid or, in the case of a resolution passed before the passing of this Act, ever have been invalid by reason only of the failure to give such notice to a member of the planning authority who became such member after the time when such notice is or was given.
Whenever a planning authority has passed a resolution for the making of a planning scheme and such planning scheme has not come into operation before the expiration of 12 months from the passing of such resolution, the powers conferred on such authority by the Principal Act and by this Act shall cease to be exercisable by such authority.
Mr. Benson: I am entirely in sympathy with the principle which Deputy Costello is trying to bring out in this amendment, but I do not see that it is practicable. The amendment puts down a figure of 12 months, and in some small country towns that might be a reasonable figure but here in Dublin it is going to take something like seven years to produce our plan. If this amendment were adopted, it would mean that we could never do anything with regard to planning in Dublin because every time we passed a resolution it would only run to 12 months and then we would lose our powers and, presumably, would have to pass another resolution. As I say, I am in entire sympathy with the principle of the amendment, but I cannot see how it is possible to produce any wording that would suit every size of town.
(2) Where a planning scheme is made under this section by a planning authority for an area consisting of two or more parts in respect of each of which a separate resolution for the making of a planning scheme was passed by such planning authority, Section 4 of the Principal Act shall have effect in relation to every such part as if such planning scheme were made for such part alone, and, accordingly, different  days may be the relevant date in relation to each such part for the purposes of the Principal Act or of any provision of the planning scheme.
(1) Whenever a planning scheme contains a limitation on the number of structures or the number of structures of a specified class which may be constructed, erected, or made within any particular area, such planning scheme may contain provisions enabling the responsible authority to divide any land in such area into units for the purpose of the application of such limitation to such units rateably in proportion to the superficial contents of such units respectively.
(a) shall contain provisions enabling the owners of any land so divided to appeal to the Minister and enabling the Minister on any such appeal to confirm the division or to modify it in any manner which he thinks proper, and
(b) may contain provisions enabling persons of any specified class (other than owners of any land so divided) to appeal to the Minister and enabling the Minister on any such appeal to confirm the division or to modify it in any manner which he thinks proper.
 (4) Where the responsible authority has duly divided, under provisions contained in a planning scheme by virtue of this section, any land into units for the purpose of the application of a limitation on the number of structures or the number of structures of a specified class which may be constructed, erected, or made within any particular area, a contravention of such limitation in respect of any of the units specified in such division or, where such division is modified on an appeal to the Minister, in such division as so modified shall be a contravention of such planning scheme.
(3) Where a planning scheme contains a provision under this section requiring the responsible authority to divide land into units, such planning scheme may contain provisions enabling such responsible authority to make alterations in the boundaries of any one or more of such units and, if any such provision is contained in a planning scheme, the immediately preceding sub-section of this section shall apply and have effect in relation to an alteration or a refusal to make an alteration under such provision in like manner as it applies and has effect in relation to a division under a provision requiring the responsible authority to divide land into units.
In sub-section (4), lines 53 and 54, to delete the words “or, where such division is modified on an appeal to the Minister, in such division as so modified” and substitute the words and brackets “(as for the time being in operation).”
A planning scheme may contain, in relation to any particular provision of such planning scheme, a provision enabling the responsible authority, in any case in which, with the consent of the Minister and after publication (in the prescribed form and manner and at the prescribed times) of notice of their intention, they think proper  so to do, to grant to a particular person or in respect of any particular property a total or a partial exemption from one or more or all of the obligations imposed by such particular provision of such planning scheme.
Mr. Brennan: With regard to the next amendment, No. 9 (a), Sir, Deputy Dillon is not in the House at present, but I understand that he will be here in a moment. I move amendment No. 9 (a), standing in his name:—
Before Section 9, to insert a new section as follows:—
Section 45 of the Principal Act is hereby repealed, and the following provisions are substituted therefor:—
(1) When a planning scheme contains a provision conferring on the responsible authority power to regulate and control (whether generally or in particular areas) the design, colour, or materials of structures, any person aggrieved by a decision of the responsible authority made in exercise of such power may appeal from such decision to a tribunal whose members shall be selected as hereinafter provided from a panel, prepared by the Minister, of architects of special knowledge or practical experience, and on such appeal such tribunal may affirm, vary, reverse, or annul such decision, and may direct any party to such appeal to pay to any other party to such appeal the whole or part of the costs and expenses incurred by such other party in relation to such appeal.
(2) Any sum which the tribunal under this section directs any party to an appeal under this section to pay to another party to such appeal shall be recoverable as if it were a simple contract debt owing by the party by whom the tribunal has directed such sum to be paid to the party to whom the tribunal has directed such sum to be paid.
(3) A planning scheme which contains any such provisions as are mentioned in the first sub-section of  this section may contain provisions regulating the constitution of the tribunal mentioned in the said sub-section and the selection and appointment by the responsible authority of the members of the said tribunal.
(4) When a planning scheme contains any such provisions for the selection and appointment by the responsible authority of the members of the said tribunal as are mentioned in the next preceding sub-section of this section, it shall be the duty of the responsible authority to select and appoint such members in accordance with such provisions from the panel mentioned in the first sub-section of this section.
(5) When a planning scheme containing any such provisions as are mentioned in the first sub-section of this section contains no provisions regulating the constitution of the tribunal mentioned in the said sub-section, the Minister shall by order provide for the constitution of the said tribunal.
(6) When a planning scheme containing any such provisions as are mentioned in the first sub-section of this section contains no provisions regulating the selection and appointment by the responsible authority of the members of the tribunal mentioned in the said sub-section, the Minister shall by order select and appoint such members from the panel mentioned in the said sub-section.
(7) An appeal shall lie from every decision of any tribunal constituted under this section to the judge of the Circuit Court having jurisdiction in the circuit in which is situate the structure to which such decision relates, and the decision of such judge shall be final.
(8) The grounds on which an appeal under this section shall be brought shall include the ground that carrying into effect the decision the subject of such appeal would involve unreasonable expense having  regard to the character of the locality in which is situate the structure to which such decision relates and to the character of the neighbouring structures.
Mr. Dillon: This is an amendment, Sir, which does not make a very material alteration in the provision at present contained in the Principal Act —not the Town and Regional Planning (Amendment) Bill at present under consideration, but in the one that went before, and it is broadly founded on these principles. A variety of matters arise in connection with any town planning scheme, many of which intimately affect the contractors or the builders or the property owners in the area to be planned. Some of these considerations give rise to the question of expenditure by the owner of the property or by the contractor who is doing work, but other considerations also enter in. If a scheme is submitted to the planning authority which, from its engineering point of view and its social point of view, is quite acceptable, there may arise artistic considerations which persons responsible for the city, taking the long view, should be entitled to review. That is amply instanced in the history of our own city. But for the fact that we had the Wide Streets Commissioners 150 years ago, instead of having O'Connell Street and Westmoreland Street we might have streets like Trinity Street, and those commissioners were induced to require the property owners in that neighbourhood to construct their buildings, not primarily from the point of view of public convenience or utilitarianism, but in order to preserve the amenities of the city as a whole.
Now, in those days, things were very much simpler than they now are, and the result of it was that if you committed to a body of ordinary men, who were interested in a problem of this kind, the supervision of an entire scheme, they had a wide culture and ample leisure to approach it from every aspect. Under modern conditions, affairs have become so complex that, if you set up any kind of commission to examine into a town planning scheme, in general, it must contain so  high a proportion of experts in engineering, sewerage, traffic, and so forth, that the aesthetic angle of the problem is very liable to be lost sight of. Furthermore—and this has to be borne in mind—it is very easy to raise public opinion on any matter relating to the welfare of the people or the public convenience, but it is not so easy to appeal to the masses of the people, who are busy with other things, on aesthetic matters or grounds.
The public are not so profoundly moved by the question of how a scheme is going to look, if they are satisfied it is going to be convenient, and generally healthy and helpful. Furthermore, it is often extremely difficult for the unskilled man to foresee how a scheme is going to look. We are all familiar with the charming picture that is drawn of how a country hospital is going to look when built, and appalled when we come to look at the hospital. It is extremely difficult to relate the resulting structure to the picture we were shown when the plans were first submitted; it requires the trained eye to see that. For these reasons, I am suggesting in this amendment that the Minister should set up a body, to which reference might be made by any interested party, on the question only of good taste and the appearance of the structure under review. I propose to put on that body nobody but architects, that is to say artists as opposed to technicians. That proposal is open to this great objection, that while aesthetics are an excellent thing, a sense of proportion should be preserved, and artists, being essentially temperamental persons, are inclined to go off the deep end, so that if you were building a pig-sty, they would require you to build it in accordance with the plans of Sir Edward Lutyens, which might be a very good thing to do, but in ordinary circumstances is not practicable. Therefore, no sensible person would suggest that the body I have in mind should have the last word, and the amendment proposes that if a body of artistic persons, after reviewing a scheme which is, from the utilitarian and the engineering point of view, fine, say that the materials proposed to be used, or the grouping of the buildings  are calculated to injure the amenities of the city as an artistic whole, therefore it must be altered. If the interested parties, and parties affected by their decision, felt that the proposed alterations suggested by the artistic body would involve expense out of reason, they could go to the Minister and he could review the decision as a practical man.
My proposal gives the Minister this immense advantage, that he is always in the position to lean a little on this body by saying to interested parties who wanted to put up a gasworks in an inappropriate place: “You cannot ask me to override a body of architects and give you permission to do this thing. If I did, I would be held up to public ridicule all over the country, and, though in my heart I sympathise with you in the difficulty into which you have been put, it is one out of which I cannot take you in the circumstances.”
Mr. Hickey: Have you any experience of architects?
Mr. Dillon: I have. That is why I am quite clear that the final decision should be left in the hands of the Minister, so that if they run amok the Minister can bring them back to a sense of relationship and restore a reasonable compromise. From experience of Lords Mayor, I know how soft are the hearts of men like the Lord Mayor of Cork and the Lord Mayor of Dublin. They are so carried away with anxiety to bring immediate relief and comfort to those with whose interests they are primarily concerned, the poor of their cities, that their aesthetic sense is sometimes a little upset. They are in this difficulty, too, that pressure is brought to bear upon them to do something that they believe will, as a matter of fact, disfigure their cities, and they do not know on whose back they can put the blame for holding up a scheme until something more in accordance with aesthetic demands of their cities is submitted. If this body was in existence, I suggest it would be a most useful whipping-board for the Lords Mayor and the Minister on which to put the blame for the aesthetic considerations,  with which those who are practical men have very little patience. It may be argued that under the Principal Act provision is made for a body of this kind, on which there would be engineers and technical experts. I do not want a committee of that kind to be responsible for future aesthetics, and I think it is going to be an embarrassment to the Minister to have a committee of that kind responsible for purely aesthetic questions.
I have the view that from the aesthetic point of view alone, the Minister's hands, and the hands of local authorities are greatly strengthened, because they can isolate that general question from a body that is congruous by insisting that any scheme for which their sanction is asked should conform, at least, to a measure of this kind, and they can put the blame on the committee I have in mind. I cannot see that the proposal involves us in any danger, because there is always an appeal from it to the Minister who, with his advisers, can temper artistic ecstasy with commonsense. I say to the Minister that inevitably he must find, when this proposal comes to be considered in the Department by the body of permanent officials, with which the principal anxiety is to see that everything will be done in the most efficient way, that they are going to lean against this proposal, because they apprehend the architect as an irresponsible kind of person, whose only object is to spend excessively. I fully understand that point of view, but I think the Minister will agree it can be carried too far, where we are dealing with permanent structures meant for future generations.
For that reason, I am suggesting that in any case, for an experimental period, the scheme that I submit should be given a chance. If the Minister finds that instead of being a help it is an embarrassment, he can easily come back to the House, and ask it to restore the status quo ante, saying that this thing has not worked. I do not believe the harshest critics of the plan would say any more about it than that it was hopelessly Utopian, that it was impossible in practice, to give such wide discretion.  If that be true—and I do not think it is —the best way to prove it is to give this scheme a chance. If it fails, and is found to be holding up necessary work, we can mend our hands in the knowledge that, at least, we gave it a chance. I do not want to labour the matter further. I think I have made my position clear, and with the object lesson we have before us of what can happen in a modern city after seeing the quadrant of Regent Street replaced by the monstrosity that has been erected there, and having seen the abominations that masquerade as architecture in New York and other cities, we ought to guard cities like this very beautiful city against irreparable damage. We have seen in certain spots, not far from the city, some architectural monstrosities erected within the last 20 years, which a body of this kind would certainly have stopped, because it would have been there for interested parties to appeal to.
The amendment is urged in the interests of perfection. Surely in a matter of this kind, this is an experiment worth making, and I think the Minister will find the House reasonable if he comes back later to say that it will not work. He will find the House perfectly reasonable and grateful that, at least, he tried, and that it was only when he found that it would not work he came back and asked it to change, and to restore something in the nature of what is at present in the Principal Act.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: As far as our desire for the ideal is concerned, I do not think there will be any difference between Deputy Dillon and myself. I would like to see such provision made in the law as would enable the best possible advice to be available to everybody concerned with town planning and new buildings. Deputy Dillon, like myself, is a native of the City of Dublin, and has a love for it. Probably the things that we both have in mind would, for some years at any rate, concern Dublin and maybe Cork and the buildings therein more than anywhere else in the country. A good  deal of beauty still remains in this city that should be preserved. Deputy Dillon, like myself, is anxious to see that beauty preserved, and that anything in the nature of new buildings put up in this city, in Cork or elsewhere should at least be worthy of the best in Dublin or elsewhere. But I am rather fearful that what the Deputy proposes might not have the effect that he desires and that I desire. I think we should leave the section as it stands, a section which Deputy Dillon himself played a large part in forming. It was his amendment that provided the tribunal that is in the Act as amended. When we were discussing the Principal Act I thought that his amendment at the time was a very reasonable and proper one, but the unfortunate part of it is that we have not had an opportunity of trying it out. No case has been given to us yet to enable us to try out the section. When it is tried out I believe it will give us the opportunity for a tribunal of any kind that we wish to set up.
If the Minister desires to set up a tribunal such as Deputy Dillon proposes in this amendment, a tribunal of architects only, there is nothing in the Act as it stands to prevent his doing so. But what the Deputy wants in this amendment is to tie the Minister's hands and say to him that the tribunal to be set up must be one composed solely of architects. I know quite a number of architects and have the greatest possible respect for them. I know them to be men of taste and culture, but I have had in my career, not necessarily as Minister, but in my association with public life, come across more than one gentleman in that profession whom I regarded as a crank. It is, of course, possible that you would get cranks among ordinary laymen or among other classes of men not of the architects' profession—they might be lawyers, doctors or accountants or anything you like—but on the question of architecture they might be cranks. I think it would not be wise to accept the Deputy's proposal. I am only giving the House my own view. This is a matter on which I hope every  Deputy is as free as I hope I am. I am giving you my personal view. There is no question of Party, of interest or anything of that kind. In this matter it is the general consensus of opinion that we would like to make the Bill as good as it should be and as useful an instrument as we can possibly make it.
I am, as I have said, fearful of restricting the powers of the Minister in this matter. I would like to leave his hands free. I would not myself be against trying out a panel of architects as I can do under the Act as it stands. I would not at all object to trying that system out, and if I had a few instances of trials of that kind, and found it did not work, I would like to be free, as I am free under the Act as it stands, to put in somebody else besides architects: to put in, for instance, competent laymen. I do not think the architects would be very fond of seeing a member of the brother profession of engineering being put on the panel, but I would like, and I think any Minister would like, to have a panel composed of persons of different kinds on whose taste and judgment he could rely.
Mr. Dillon: Would the Minister say at this stage that under the law as it stands at present he would make the experiment of choosing a panel of architects, and of trying out the plan incorporated in this amendment, reserving to himself a discretion to alter it if, in his experience, he thought it was right to do so?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I would be quite prepared to do that.
Mr. Dillon: That meets my point completely and, with the leave of the House, I propose to withdraw the amendment.
Mr. L.J. Walsh: Does that mean that the town planning experts who have already been appointed by a number of borough councils will be superseded by this body?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: No
Mr. Benson: The Minister says that he is prepared to set up a panel of architects such as Deputy Dillon suggested in his amendment. I would be glad if he would explain to the House how he can do so. Provision is made in sub-section (1) of Section 45 to the effect that any person who is aggrieved by a decision of the responsible authority may appeal to a justice of the district court. That section does not contain any other provision, so that unless there is provision in the planning scheme for the setting up of a tribunal——
Mr. O Ceallaigh: In sub-section (2).
Mr. Benson: ——the experiment cannot be made?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: That is so.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister could require such a provision to be inserted in the plan?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Yes.
Mr. Dillon: And, I take it, the Minister would ordinarily require such a provision to be inserted?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I think it would be wise that that should be inserted in the plan, so that the tribunal would be available.
Mr. Corish: Have the urban councils still power to appoint their own town planning experts with the approval of the Minister?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Certainly.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 10:—
In page 4, lines 58 and 59, to delete the words “with the consent of the Minister and.”
This is a drafting amendment.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 11:—
In page 5, lines 1 and 2, to delete the words “to a particular person  or in respect of any particular property” and substitute the words “with the consent of the Minister to any person who applies therefor or in respect of any property in relation to which an application therefor is made.”
I think the same may be said of this amendment.
Amendment agreed to.
Section 9, as amended, put and agreed to.
(1) A planning scheme may contain provisions empowering the responsible authority to determine the frontage line of buildings and other structures adjoining any road in the area to which such planning scheme relates which is constructed or improved after the making of such planning scheme and for which a frontage line is not determined by such planning scheme.
An Ceann Comhairle: As soon as the Minister has moved amendment No. 12, Deputy Benson might move his amendment to it. Otherwise, it could not come in.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 12:—
Before Section 10, to insert a new section as follows:—
(1) Where a planning authority has passed a resolution for the making of a planning scheme, such planning authority, in addition to the powers conferred on them by sub-section (1) of Section 57 of the Principal Act, may at any time after passing such resolution and before such planning scheme comes into operation prohibit the execution of any specified work (including the cutting down of any specified forest, wood or tree) in the area to which such planning scheme is proposed to relate.
(2) In the Principal Act and this Act the expression “special prohibition” shall include a prohibition made under this section.
Mr. Benson: I move amendment No. 12a:—
In sub-section (1) of the proposed new section, after the words “wood or tree” but within the brackets, to insert the words “or the affixing of an object to or the painting of a sign on any structure.”
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Does Deputy Benson want to say anything on his amendment?
Mr. Benson: I appreciate that the Minister's amendment is an advance on the present Bill, but we have found in our efforts at town planning here in Dublin that there are cases where advertisements have been placed on buildings or structures, which in our view are objectionable and detract from the appearance of those structures. The intention of my amendment is to ensure that we shall have power to control those particular objects which are affixed to structures. It is admitted that there are many railway bridges in Dublin which are not things of beauty in the first place, but at the same time the view is held by some that the affixing of advertisements to them makes them rather worse. It draws attention to them, and makes them more objectionable. Under the present Act and under the Bill there is no power to control those advertisements. If the Minister will accept my amendment we will then have power to control advertisements or anything of that nature either posted on a structure or painted on it.
Mr. L.J. Walsh: I should like to impress upon the Minister also the necessity for taking power to control the erection of hoarding boards in the main streets of our towns. It does not even stop at that now; even the gable ends of houses are being let for that purpose. I think the Minister should take power to prevent that happening. There is no power in the Bill.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: When a scheme is formulated there is no doubt that the planning authority can take power to deal with signs such as Deputy Benson has in mind. In this new section, we propose to give additional powers to  the planning authority to make certain that obstructions or other things which would cause irreparable damage can be dealt with. We thought we had sufficient power in the Principal Act, but, a case in regard to destruction of trees, which was mentioned by Deputy Mulcahy here on the last day, brought to our notice the fact that perhaps we did not have that power. At any rate, this new section will deal with that matter. There is no doubt that the planning authority, once the scheme is adopted, will have power to deal with it.
Mr. Brennan: But the scheme may not relate to the entire town; it may relate only to a portion of the town. I think they would only have control of those matters in the particular portion to which the plan related
Mr. O Ceallaigh: That is so.
Mr. Brennan: So it does not give the general authority which we really want?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: The local authority could—with a view to getting rid of those unsightly things, amongst other purposes—make their plan, and include power in that plan to call for the removal of objectionable things such as the signs referred to.
Mr. Brennan: I am afraid I cannot follow that, in view of the fact that the Ceann Comhairle has ruled out an amendment of mine on the grounds that it does not relate to this Bill at all —that it does not relate to town planning on the same lines.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I have a lot to answer for, but I should not like to be asked to answer for the Ceann Comhairle as well.
An Ceann Comhairle: If the Deputy had read the ruling he would have found it was more detailed. The Deputy's amendment would apply to local authorities whether or not they had adopted a town planning scheme; it would cover all local authorities. That is much wider.
Mr. Brennan: Exactly. I think that is what Deputy the May or of Drogheda is looking for, and what I am looking for. I think the general discussion is going that way, if you like—that we want authority to remove those things —and I think there is the misunderstanding that we are getting powers under that section. We are only getting them if we have a town planning scheme, and only for that portion of the town which is being regulated at that particular time.
Mr. Corish: But you adopt the Town Planning Act for the whole borough?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: You have a plan, and then you can do it.
Mr. Benson: I quite agree with the Minister that when a plan is passed, those powers which I am seeking are there, but the point is whether it is worth inserting those few words for an extra five or six or, possibly, seven years of freedom from that. In the smaller towns, where a plan will possibly take only a year or 18 months, it is not a very important matter, but here, as I have said already, it is going to take seven years, of which I think a little over one has gone. Is it not worth inserting those few words in the Bill to enable us here and now to have those advertisements removed, and the appearance of the town improved to that extent? Otherwise, we have got to wait. Those people will have a sort of vested interest, and it will be harder to persuade the local authority to incorporate an appropriate section in the plan because they will say: “Those unfortunate people have been there all those years; let us leave them there.” If the Minister will adopt the suggestion, then that gives us the power right away to have those things removed, instead of having them there for the period between now and the actual coming into existence of the plan.
Mr. L.J. Walsh: Might I state for the benefit of the Minister that we have adopted the Regional and Town Planning Act, and we have appointed our town planning expert. We have endeavoured to get the Great Northern Railway Co to remove a very large  number of those hoardings within the borough boundary. We have even instructed our law agent to take steps to compel them to remove them. We even went so far as to get counsel's opinion, which was to the effect that we have no power under the Bill to compel anyone to remove hoardings. We have them in the main street. One particular house was derelict and it has been let for the erection of hoarding boards. We have no power under the Bill as it stands at present to compel people to remove those boards. I am not in agreement with Deputy Brennan when he says he wants something similar to what I want, for this reason, that we have adopted the Regional and Town Planning Act, as I say, and our town planning expert has drawn up a zones system within that plan. The industrial portion is relegated to one zone, the commercial to another, the residential to another, and so on. With us, it is not a question of seven years, I am sorry to say. It might rather be a question of seventy years, but a beginning has to be made somewhere. It is our duty now to safeguard ourselves. It is our duty to ask the Minister to take power and transfer that power to the local authorities to prevent people from erecting hoardings, particularly on gable ends of houses.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: This section is meant to deal with matters that might be irreparable. If once a structure were put up the matter might be irreparable hereafter. It is not the intention, in this section, at any rate, to deal with matters, with all respect, of minor importance, such as these advertising signs and other kinds of signs that have been referred to by the Deputies who have spoken. I am quite anxious and willing to see that powers should be got somewhere to control these signs, but I do not think we could introduce them into this section. This has a definite, deliberate purpose, to deal with obstacles or buildings or structures put up in a place or the destruction of things, such as trees, that could not be replaced. We could see if it would be possible in some other way to deal with the problem to which Deputy Benson  and the Mayor of Drogheda have referred, but this would be a very drastic power to take; it would be like getting a steam hammer to kill a fly—that is what it amounts to, taking powers to deal with that problem under the section with which we are dealing here. Of course, the power will be there once the planning scheme is arranged. The intervening period is the difficulty. I do not think we can deal with the matter in the way Deputy Benson suggests.
Mr. L.J. Walsh: As soon as we adopted the Town Planning Act in our area the Great Northern Railway Company erected further hoardings. We have served notice on them to have the hoardings removed, but they have successfully defied us.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I will look into the matter again between now and the Report Stage in order to see if there is a way of dealing with it.
Mr. Brennan: Why not bring in a short Bill that will apply to all local authorities and enable them to deal with it in a comprehensive way?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: It would require a separate Bill to do what Deputy Brennan suggests.
Mr. Brennan: I agree—to deal with the whole lot.
Amendment No. 12 agreed to.
Amendment No. 12a, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. Benson: I move amendment No. 12b:—
Before Section 10, to insert a new section as follows:—
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in sub-section (1) of Section 58 of the Principal Act where a planning authority has made a special prohibition in relation to any work such planning authority may declare at any time before such planning scheme comes into operation that any contravention of such special prohibition before such coming into operation shall be unlawful and sub-section (2) of the said  Section 58 shall accordingly apply to this section.
This is rather a difficult matter to explain, and I hope I shall succeed in doing so. Section 58 of the Principal Act, which this amendment seeks to amend, states that:—
When a planning authority has passed a resolution for the making of a planning scheme and has, before such planning scheme comes into operation, made a special prohibition in relation to any work, such planning authority may... declare, at any time before such planning scheme comes into operation, that any contravention of such special prohibition before such coming into operation shall be unlawful.
Unfortunately, that “may” is qualified in this way:—
if they are of opinion that the prejudicial effect of proceeding with or doing the work to which such special prohibition relates would be of such nature as to be incapable of being remedied after the coming into operation of such planning scheme.
It is on those words, inserted there, that my amendment is based.
The point is this. Under that sub-section a planning authority may prohibit something, but unless the something is that which cannot be remedied after the coming into operation of such planning scheme, that prohibition is to all intents and purposes so much wasted breath, because nothing further can happen until the planning scheme is passed and then the person who has put up the structure, or whatever it may be, can be called upon to remove it. But suppose, for instance, that in this city a body may desire to erect a structure for their own particular purpose, the publicity value attached to it and so forth, they may decide that they want something ultra-modernistic. That building may possibly be placed in juxtaposition to a building which has certain architectural beauties, shall we say. Under the existing scheme the planning authority may prohibit the erection of that building, but if the body decides  to flaunt that and proceed to build, nothing further can be done until the scheme comes into operation, when the local authority can require that body to remove the building.
The Minister probably has a much better acquaintance with local authorities than I have and he will know, I am perfectly sure, that if, in actual fact, that building was proceeded with the heart of the local authority would be so soft that when they came to producing the plan they would not insert the clause requiring that building to be razed. That is one extreme. The other extreme is one which the Lord Mayor of Drogheda has been speaking about. It is the advertisement hoarding, a structure that obviously is easily demolished. Supposing that plans are submitted to the local authority for the erection of an advertisement hoarding and they prohibit it and the advertiser, whoever he may be, ignores the prohibition and erects his hoarding, and for four, five, six or seven years receives revenue from that hoarding which the planning authority, in its wisdom, has decided is not desirable for aesthetic, traffic or some other good reason. Having secured the revenue for five, six or seven years, the advertiser, once the scheme is passed, is required to remove his hoarding, which he does very simply and economically and, in the meantime, he goes off with the swag from the advertisements, spread over those years. If this amendment is accepted, if the local authority makes a prohibition order they then may declare that it shall be unlawful, and, if in spite of their prohibition, the person decides to go on with the job they can then be prosecuted and presumably the job can be stopped, because I think there is a continuing fine in sub-section (2) of Section 28. It may be objected that this is extending the interim powers of the planning authority too much, and I appreciate that the Minister has an objection to extending the interim powers too much for fear that the actual plan will never be made. I have every sympathy with that view but, at the same time, I think the Minister should give to the planning authority sufficient power to enable them to make a good job of it once they have set their  hand to the plough. I hope that he will be prepared to accept this amendment.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I am afraid I cannot accept the Deputy's amendment. It might have the effect that the Deputy refers to—that the planning scheme would not be adopted. After all, we want to get the local authorities sympathetic to town planning and planning schemes, but if they study this Act and see that there are so many obstacles put in the way and so many, might I call them crimes, or at any rate illegalities, that they and their friends who own property or who have land to develop would be likely to infringe, the chances of getting town planning adopted in a widespread fashion by local authorities would be still more remote. I think that the powers that the Deputy asks for are, at the present time at any rate, too drastic. In 10 or 20 years, when we have had longer knowledge and experience of town planning and of the willingness of the local authorities and of the people to abide by the laws relating to town planning, it might be possible to be more strict and to make such things as a contravention of a prohibition order an illegality for which heavy penalties might be incurred, but at the present time I am afraid we would be going too far and the result might be that local authorities, even those that I think are what might be called advanced local authorities, like Dublin or Cork, might hesitate before putting into operation the powers that would be given to them, in addition to what are there already, if an amendment such as this were included in the Act.
Mr. Benson: The Minister's argument is, I think, rather weak in one respect when he says that in 10 or 20 years we may give those powers. We will not want them then. We will have them in the plan. It is now we want them to prevent anything being done which would void any portion of the plan. I admit right away that when the plan is made these things can be removed. My point is that if the thing is there and if it is substantial  a local authority, certainly the only one I have any direct experience of, would be so soft-hearted as not to enforce it, and I think probably every Deputy who has any knowledge of local authorities would agree.
There is another point, too, that arises on the Minister's reply. Is it absolutely essential that the plan should ever be made? It is possibly a new view point. I do not know. I did see an address delivered by somebody in England recently where it was suggested that it was not necessary that a planning authority should actually ever produce a plan. It is obvious that they must have some plan to work to, but it was suggested that they need not ever produce the statutory plan. Whatever plan is made has got to be fluid. It is impossible to produce a plan to-day and say that it has got to hold for the next ten or 15 years. It cannot possibly. There is, I believe, a body of opinion on this subject coming around to the view that the actual statutory plan should never actually be made. Of course, the natural corollary to that is that powers should be increased, such as I have indicated here. Provided the local authority has some plan, as it must have some plan of its own, to work to, it is an arguable question as to whether the statutory plan should ever be produced.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: How the law would be interpreted by lawyers or by courts as to whether the plan should actually be published as a plan and as the last word on the subject, or not, I cannot say, but the law at present is that they must have a plan. The local authority must have a plan before all these powers, prohibition powers and others, will operate. The Deputy perhaps may not have as much experience of local authorities as I have had but, evidently, from what he says, he has a fair amount of experience of them. They generally are soft-hearted bodies, especially when dealing with enterprising people, who are developing land and putting up buildings. What would happen if there was a prohibition order issued and that prohibition were disregarded? Possibly sufficient influence and power could be brought to bear on that local authority to develop in  another way in order to avoid asking the property owner concerned to knock down his building. It is true that any local authority would hesitate, if a man had built a house on a spot where they had intended a road to go, although he was warned and although he was prohibited. He took a chance and built the house, and ten chances to one the local authority would go around the house and make their road somewhere else.
Mr. Loughman: Give us the managers.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I think the managers are not men of iron any more than the local authorities, That is probably what would happen. So that, one way or the other, I do not know that the amendment of Deputy Benson would go very far to improve matters.
Mr. Benson: Does the Minister think that it is desirable to set up a body and then leave it open to have it flouted in that way? I suggest that if this amendment is adopted nobody would ever begin to do anything which they had been prohibited from doing.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: The Deputy is very optimistic.
Mr. Benson: Possibly, but I am glad to say that the people I have come in contact with are extremely keen on town planning, and I am perfectly sure that if the town planning authority here in Dublin had this power and made a prohibition order they would see that no action was taken which would void it. That is one thing, but it is quite another thing, as the Minister has admitted, expecting the local authority to have a building razed after it had been erected contrary to a prohibition order. They would have no compunction, I am perfectly sure, about stopping a thing ever starting. That is a different matter.
I would like to ask the Minister very seriously to consider whether he cannot make this concession to meet cases of that sort. I think his own statement  just now shows that something of this sort is desirable, because I cannot conceive of any Minister with his eyes open allowing any body to be set up and having on the face of it certain powers and yet leaving a loophole such as is left here by which that body can be openly flouted and the person who does so get away with it, as they would; there is no doubt about it.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I am as keen, I think, as anybody could be on getting the ideal town planning legislation available for this country and available for all the local authorities, but I would like to see it worked. That is my difficulty. Knowing human nature and knowing local authorities, knowing even Ministers, to be people that do not like to be too hard-hearted, I hesitate to put a clause of that kind into the Bill. I am afraid it would not help to make the thing work at present.
Mr. Benson: The Minister surely would admit that, if he put a clause of that description into the Bill, that clause would be more likely to be enforced than the one which is in the Principal Act, of destroying after the building is erected. Obviously, if you prohibit a man from starting a thing at all, there may be a temporary hardship on him, but he can go somewhere else. It is entirely different from asking him to pull his building down once he has built it.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I will look into it again. That is all I can say.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 13.—Before Section 10, to insert a new section as follows:—
A planning authority may at any time revoke or amend a special prohibition previously made by such authority, but such revocation or amendment shall not prejudice or affect the operation of such special prohibition during any period prior to such revocation or amendment.
 Amendment No. 15.—Before Section 11, to insert a new section as follows:—
(1) In this section—
the expression “interim direction” means a direction to do or refrain from doing any act given by a planning authority directly or by implication by refusing a special permission, by granting a special permission subject to conditions, or by making a special prohibition:
the expression “interim period” means the period between the passing, by the planning authority who gave the interim direction in relation to which such expression is used, of the resolution for the making of the relevant planning scheme and the coming into operation of such planning scheme.
(2) Any person to whom an interim direction has been given may apply to the Minister within the prescribed time for an order declaring that compensation shall be payable in respect of such interim direction, and the Minister on such application may make the order so applied for if he is satisfied that compensation would be payable under the Principal Act in respect of such interim direction were it contained in a planning scheme and that undue hardship would result to such person from compliance with such interim direction during the interim period.
(3) Subject to the provisions of the next following sub-section of this section, an order under this section shall come into force on the expiration of six months from the making thereof.
(4) An order under this section shall not come into force and shall be void and of no effect if during six months from the making thereof the interim direction in respect of which such order was made either has not been complied with or has been revoked.
(5) Where an order under this section has come into force, the provisions of the interim direction in respect of which such order was made shall have effect and be  enforceable during the interim period as if they were contained in the relevant planning scheme, as if such scheme were in operation, and as if, for the purposes of such provisions, the responsible authority were the planning authority who gave such interim direction and the relevant date were the date when such interim direction was given.
(6) Where an order under this section in respect of an interim direction is in force and the value of any property in respect of which such interim direction was given is reduced by the enforcement of such interim direction, any person having an estate or interest in or right over or in respect of such property shall, on making application therefor within (but not after) two months from the coming into force of such order, be entitled, subject to the provisions of the sections of the Principal Act applied by the next following sub-section of this section, to be paid by the planning authority who gave such interim direction by way of compensation the amount (if any) by which his estate or interest in or right over or in respect of such property is so reduced in value and, in the case of the occupier of such property, the damage (if any) to his trade, business, or profession occasioned by such enforcement.
(7) The provisions of Sections 67, 71, 75 and 76 of the Principal Act shall apply in relation to compensation under this section from a planning authority for injury caused by the enforcement of an interim direction and in relation to the assessment and recovery of such compensation in like manner as they would apply in relation to compensation under Section 61 of the Principal Act from the responsible authority in respect of the coming into operation on the date when such interim direction was given of a provision in a planning scheme to the same effect as such interim direction and in relation to the assessment and recovery of such compensation.
(a) an interim direction has been given, and
 (b) an order under this section has come into force in respect of such interim direction during the interim period, and
(c) the relevant planning scheme has come into operation,
no compensation shall be payable under Part VIII of the Principal Act in respect of the reduction in value of any estate, interest or right or the damage suffered by any person by reason of the coming into operation of so much of any provision in such planning scheme as is identical or substantially identical with or to the same effect as such interim direction.
(9) Section 64 of the Principal Act shall not have effect in relation to an interim direction in respect of which an order under this section has come into force.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move that amendments Nos. 13 and 15 be taken together. They are very closely related.
An Ceann Comhairle: Amendments Nos. 13 and 15 are being discussed together.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Our experience so far has told us that a section of that kind is very necessary, but it would also require to have, to back it up, a further amendment such as we suggest in Section 11 in respect of compensation. This would allow compensation to be paid to persons who had, during the interim, done something such as putting up buildings or structures of one kind or another for which the law heretofore did not allow any compensation to be paid. This amendment is intended to meet the points made by Deputy Costello on Second Reading.
Mr. Benson: I think this new section is a valuable addition to the Bill because, apart from anything else, it enables a local authority, from my reading of it, to discover, as it goes along, what its compensation claims are likely to be, and gives it the opportunity of withdrawing, if it considers that the compensation will be more than the amenity is worth. At the present moment, a plan would have to  be passed and become a statutory plan before a local authority could discover what it had let itself in for. Local authorities will now have a chance of finding out, as they go along, and withdrawing, if it is too expensive.
Amendment No. 13 agreed to.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 14:—
To delete sub-section (1) and substitute a new sub-section as follows:—
(1) A planning scheme may contain provisions (either in relation to roads generally or in relation to one or more specified roads) empowering the responsible authority to determine the frontage line of buildings and other structures adjoining a road in the area to which such planning scheme relates which is constructed, diverted or widened after the making of such planning scheme and for which a frontage line is not determined by such planning scheme or for which the existing frontage line has become obsolete and prescribing the notices to be given and the procedure to be followed in relation to the exercise of such power.
The intention of this sub-section is to confer power on the responsible authority to determine the frontage line of structures on new or improved roads that are not specifically referred to in the scheme. This is a very necessary power, as we have found.
Amendment agreed to.
Section 10, as amended, agreed to.
Amendment No. 15 agreed to.
Section 11, as amended, agreed to.
(1) The Minister may by order make regulations prescribing the time within which and the manner in which persons may appeal under a provision of a planning scheme against a decision, requisition, determination, or other act of the responsible authority.
(2) Whenever an appeal is made to the Minister under the Principal Act  or this Act or under any provision of a planning scheme against a decision, requisition, determination, or other act of the responsible authority, the Minister, if he so thinks proper, may on deciding such appeal direct any party to such appeal to pay to any other party to such appeal such sum as the Minister shall, in his absolute discretion, specify as reasonable compensation to such other party for the expense occasioned to such other party in relation to such appeal.
(3) Any sum which the Minister under this section directs any party to an appeal to pay to another party to such appeal shall be recoverable as if it were a simple contract debt owing by the party by whom the Minister has directed such sum to be paid to the party to whom the Minister has directed such sum to be paid.
Mr. Brennan: I move amendment No. 16:—
Before Section 12, to insert a new section as follows:—
(1) Section 59 of the Principal Act shall be construed and have effect as if the words “the Minister” where-ever they occur in that section were deleted and the words “the Circuit Judge” were substituted therefor.
(2) Rules of Court shall prescribe the time within which and the manner in which persons may appeal against the grant or refusal by a planning authority of a special permission or a general permission or the making of a special prohibition of a planning authority and the particular Court Judge before whom such appeal shall be heard and such Rules of Court may also provide power to award costs.
I am in rather a difficulty in moving this amendment.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I think it is not meant seriously.
Mr. Brennan: I must say that our criticism of Section 12 was meant very seriously, and this amendment merely implements that criticism. I formally move this amendment, and I want the  Minister to tell us if we have any precedent for a Minister, in his capacity as Minister and in his absolute discretion, fixing compensation and compelling payment and recovery of it as an ordinary debt. I do not think the Minister justified that section on Second Reading, and I formally move the amendment to give him an opportunity of telling us what he thinks of the situation. I agree that he has come a certain distance, but only a certain distance, and I still feel that, while the courts are and always have been available for the determination of compensation——
Mr. O Ceallaigh: This amendment does not deal with compensation.
Mr. Brennan: It deals with Section 12.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: It does not deal with compensation.
Mr. Brennan: In fact, it does. The amendment seeks to substitute for the Minister the Circuit judge in the provision whereby the Minister may by order make regulations prescribing the time within which appeals may be made and may direct the making of certain payments. That is what Deputy Costello was trying to get at. He seeks to take from the Minister his absolute right to fix damages, compensation, or whatever moneys should be paid by a planning authority to an aggrieved person. I understand that his intention was to leave the law as it stands, so that a person will have the right to bring his case into court where the matter will be properly determined. So far as I can see, that is the root of his amendment.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: This amendment suggests putting up a county court as against the Minister as the tribunal on planning schemes. I do not think there is any doubt that in the working of the town planning legislation so far it has been demonstrated that it is wise to have the Minister as the deciding authority for appeals such as these. He has every facility. He is in touch with all the details of the work; he has the staff to advise him; and he has competent people who are specialists in  this subject that no judge could have. That has been our experience, and we strongly suggest to the Dáil that it is wise to leave the appeal in these matters to the Minister. There are in other sections appeals to Circuit Court judges on various matters, but in respect of this section it is thought wise to leave the decision to the Minister. I am sorry Deputy Costello is not here. I do not know that he is very serious in suggesting that that appeal to the Minister should be taken away. What he was serious about was that the Minister should not have the right to impose costs, and we have amended that section. Deputy Mulcahy and Deputy Costello were both strong on that point, and I think Deputy Costello said it was a suggestion without any precedent that he knew of. That, however, is not so, because Deputy Mulcahy himself was responsible for legislation in 1931 in connection with the Housing of the Working Classes Act which contained an exactly similar provision.
Mr. Brennan: The fixing of compensation?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: No, the Minister fixing costs. He was responsible for that legislation in his day, so that precedent is there. We propose to amend that section and not to give any costs to a local authority. I think that would meet the criticisms put up against the section on a previous day.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 17:—
In sub-section (1), line 9, to delete the words “and the manner in which”.
This is a small matter. It is not necessary, we think, to prescribe the manner in which these appeals are to be made.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Brennan: Amendment No. 18— to delete sub-section (2) of Section 12— is out of order.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 19:—
 In sub-section (2), to delete all words from the word “the” where it firstly occurs in line 16 to the end of the sub-section and substitute the words “a planning authority or of the responsible authority, the Minister, if he so thinks proper, may on deciding such appeal direct such planning authority or responsible authority (as the case may be) to pay to the appellant on such appeal such sum as the Minister shall, in his absolute discretion, specify as reasonable compensation to such appellant for the expense occasioned to such appellant in relation to such appeal”.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The decision in amendment No. 19 will govern amendment No. 20. In other words, if amendment No. 19 is agreed to, amendment No. 20 will fall.
Mr. Brennan: I quite agree.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: This amendment takes away from the Minister the power to impose costs on anybody except on the local authority.
Mr. Brennan: But very definitely it retains to the Minister the power to fix reasonable compensation. Very big matters may arise with regard to this question of reasonable compensation, on which evidence may have to be taken. I do not know that it is wise for the Minister for his own sake, and for the sake of his Department to usurp the business of the courts in the endeavour to deal with matters of that kind. I do not know what machinery the Minister will have to assess compensation if a big matter arises. I do not think it was wise at all to leave to any Minister—I do not care who he is—the power of assessing compensation in his absolute right. After all, the courts are there to determine those things. The Minister may say, by way of reply, that delays may occur, and that some important things may be held up. That may be, but we may not be assured of justice. Possibly the local authority may feel aggrieved, and they should have the right to go into the court, and the court is there for them. I think the amendment of the Minister would usurp the business of the court. He ought not to take it on himself to fix damages in this way.
Mr. L.J. Walsh: Surely the Deputy is aware that the Minister will do the work more quickly and things will not be held up by the delays of the court. I am sure Deputy Brennan has plenty of experience of the delays that are occasioned in the courts.
Mr. Brennan: If Deputy Walsh himself had an ordinary case he would like to go into court where evidence could be taken, instead of having the Minister to decide in his absolute discretion. Deputy Walsh may think that if he had a case he would be prepared to go before the present Minister and that he would be all right, but there will be another Minister some time.
Mr. L.J. Walsh: I think I would take my chances before any Minister.
Mr. Brennan: It is a dangerous power to place in the hands of a Minister.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: We have had the power since 1934 and it has never been suggested that it has been operated wrongly. No costs have been awarded.
Mr. Brennan: The Minister has never operated the power. That is the point.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: We have had appeals to the Minister, and these appeals are practically all of a technical nature. The matter of this can be decided with far greater expedition if it is left to the Minister, whoever the Minister may be.
Mr. Brennan: I entirely agree that the Minister ought to hear the facts relating to the question but not give him the power to deal with compensation. That is where I am afraid an injustice may occur. With regard to deciding whether a town plan ought to be put into operation or not, I say the Minister certainly ought to decide that. I have no love at all for leaving that to the courts, which would be the wrong place, but when it is a question of compensation for lands taken or business destroyed it is another matter. The Minister should have nothing to do with that.
Mr. Corish: Leaving the power with the Minister will save the local authorities considerable expense.
Mr. Brennan: We are not entirely so much concerned with expenses as with doing justice to everybody. We are here to do justice.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I think the Deputy need not fear there will be any injustice; whatever Minister is there to administer the law, the matter will be properly handled.
Mr. Brennan: It is simply that the Minister has the machinery to deal with it?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I have not heard it suggested by anybody in cases where the Minister took the power under the Act of 1931 that the provisions of the Act were abused by either one Minister or another.
Mr. Brennan: That is the weakness of the Minister's case. There have been no instances because he did not operate it.
Mr. Benson: On a point of clarification, the section only allows the Minister to specify compensation for expenses. There is no question of compensation for the acquisition of land.
Mr. Brennan: The word “compensation” is used in the amendment. There are the words “specify as reasonable compensation.”
Mr. O Ceallaigh: It is very restricted. It is only for the expense occasioned to the appellant in relation to the appeal.
Mr. Brennan: Yes. But I notice that under the amendment the local authority is unable to recover costs.
Mr. Corish: Its effect is merely to save all parties from expense.
Mr. Benson: There is the question of frivolous appeals. In our experience I do not think there has been a frivolous appeal.
Mr. Corish: It is only the Department of Local Government saying to the local authority: “Thus far shalt thou go and no further.”
Amendment No. 19 agreed to.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: That governs amendment No. 20 which falls.
Mr. Brennan: I am not moving amendment No. 21—to delete sub-section (3).
Amendment not moved.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 22:—
In sub-section (3), to delete all words from the word “party” at the beginning of line 23 to the end of the sub-section and substitute the words “planning authority or responsible authority to pay to the appellant on an appeal shall be paid by such planning authority or responsible authority (as the case may be) to such appellant and, in default of payment, shall be recoverable as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.”
This is consequential on amendment No. 19.
Amendment agreed to.
Section 12, as amended, agreed to.
Mr. Brennan: On behalf of Deputy Costello I move amendment No. 23:—
Before Section 13, to insert a new section as follows:—
Every application by any person for payment of compensation under the Principal Act or this Act which is referable to arbitration shall be heard and determined with all convenient speed and such arbitration may be held and the award thereunder enforced whether or not a planning scheme has come into operation.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I imagine if Deputy Costello were present he would not move this.
Mr. Brennan: Does the Minister think it is not required?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I think the Deputy had better withdraw it.
Mr. Brennan: My own opinion about it is that even if it were inserted it would not have very much force.
Mr. Benson: I think the point behind this amendment has already been covered under Section 11. That is the point about compensation.
Section 13 agreed to.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 24:—
Before Section 14, but in Part II, to insert a new section as follows:—
(1) The word “owner” wherever it occurs in the Principal Act shall have, and be deemed always to have had, the same meaning as is given to it by this Act for the purposes of this Act.
(2) Sub-section (3) of Section 51 of the Principal Act is hereby repealed.
This is a definition section, and it defines the word “owner”. The expression “owner” was not defined in the Act of 1934. The definition “owner” in Section 3 of the Bill will generally apply.
Amendment 24 agreed to.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 25:—
Before Section 14, but in Part III, to insert a new section as follows:—
(1) In this Part of this Act— the expression “restricted development provision” means a provision contained under this Part of this Act in a planning scheme in relation to any specified land in the area to which such planning scheme relates that the development of such land wholly or mainly by the erection of buildings of one or more specified classes shall be restricted;
the word “development” when used without qualification means the  development of land wholly or mainly by the erection of buildings of the class or of any one or more of the classes specified in the relevant restricted development provision.
(2) For the purposes of this Part of this Act the development of any land shall be deemed to have been begun if and when the erection on such land of any building of the class or of any of the classes specified in the relevant restricted development provision has been begun.
During the Second Stage, representations were made that Part III of the Bill should extend to all forms of development and not be confined to dwelling houses or other residential buildings. This suggestion has been followed, and it has been found necessary to recast the definitions in Section 14. The new section now includes a provision that the development of land shall be deemed to have begun when the erection on such land of any building of the class specified in the relevant restricted provision has commenced. The adoption of this section will involve the deletion of Section 14, which I do not propose to move.
Amendment No. 25 agreed to, with the deletion of Section 14.
(1) A planning scheme may contain a provision (in this Part of this Act referred to as a restricted development provision) in relation to any specified land in the area to which such planning scheme relates that the development of such land wholly or mainly by the erection of dwelling-houses or other residential buildings thereon shall be restricted.
(2) Where a planning scheme contains a restricted development provision in relation to any land in the area to which such planning scheme relates, the development of such land by the erection of dwelling-houses or other residential buildings thereon shall be a contravention of such planning scheme unless a road plan is for the time being in force in relation to such land and such development is carried out in conformity with such road plan.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 26:—
To delete sub-section (1) and substitute a new sub-section as follows:—
(1) A planning scheme may contain a restricted development provision.
This is consequential on the adoption of amendment No. 25.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 27:—
In sub-section (2), page 7, to delete all words from the words “in relation in line 2 to the word “scheme” in line 5 and substitute the words “the development of any land to which such provision relates shall be a contravention of such provision.”
This is also consequential on the extension of the provisions of Part III of the Bill to the erection of any class of buildings that may be specified in a restricted development provision.
Amendment agreed to.
Section 15, as amended, agreed to.
(1) Where a planning scheme contains a restricted development provision, the owner of any land to which such provision relates may, if he so thinks fit, prepare and submit to the responsible authority a scheme or plan (in this Part of this Act referred to as a road plan) regulating the improvement of existing roads on such land or the construction of new roads on such land or both such improvement and such construction.
(2) The following provisions shall have effect in relation to road plans, that is to say:—
(a) a road plan which provides for the improvement of an existing road may regulate the nature of such improvement;
(b) a road plan which provides for the construction of a new road may regulate the situation and nature of such road;
 (c) a road plan may prohibit the making, without the consent of the responsible authority, of any improvement at all or any particular improvement of a particular existing road on the land to which such road plan relates;
(d) a road plan may prohibit the construction, without the consent of the responsible authority, of any new road whatever or any particular new road on the land to which such road plan relates.
(3) Where a road plan provides for the construction of a new road or the improvement of an existing road on the land to which such road plan relates, such road plan may provide that, if the appropriate local authority charged with the construction and maintenance of roads so consents, such construction or improvement shall be carried out by such local authority and that thereupon a sum equal to the whole or a specified part of the cost of such construction or improvement shall be paid by the owner of such land to such local authority.
(4) Where, between the coming into operation of a planning scheme and the coming into force of a road plan, a new road has been constructed by a local authority on the land to which such road plan relates or an existing road on such land has been improved by a local authority and the development of such land has, in the opinion of the responsible authority, been facilitated or rendered less costly by such construction or improvement, such road plan may provide that a sum equal to the whole or a specified part of the cost of such construction or improvement shall be paid by the owner of such land to such local authority.
(5) The sums mentioned in the two preceding sub-sections of this section shall, in default of payment, be recoverable as simple contract debts in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 28:—
 In sub-section (1), line 18, to add the words “in duplicate” after the word “submit”.
The suggestion was made during the course of the Second Reading, from the opposite side, that we should add the words “in duplicate”. We have agreed to that suggestion.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 29:—
In sub-section (2), lines 26 and 29, to insert the word “road” where it occurs in each of those lines after the words “on the land to which such road plan relates”.
This is a drafting amendment.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Mr. Benson: I move amendment No. 29a:—
In sub-section (4), lines 49-50, to delete the words “the coming into operation of a planning scheme” and substitute therefor the words “the relevant date”.
The Bill gives certain powers, between the coming into operation of a planning scheme and the coming into force of a road plan. The amendment suggests that instead of these powers becoming operative at the date of the coming into operation of the planning scheme, they should become operative at the relevant date, that is the date of the passing of the resolution. I am prepared to admit that that is possibly asking too much, but if the Minister would agree, instead of having the period fixed as the time of the coming into operation of a planning scheme, to fix the period as the date of the passing of this Act. I think it would be a reasonable compromise. I think this power should be given to the local authorities and that they should not be asked to wait for the coming into operation of the planning scheme. Many of the arguments I have used here have been already used and I do not think that the Minister would desire me to repeat them. They have reference to the magnitude of the Dublin plans and so forth. I think these arguments hold equally well on this section. I think that having regard  to the length of time it takes to prepare a planning scheme, even if this power were not to be exercised until after the passing of the Act, it would be some advantage to have that power, and not to have to wait until the planning scheme has come into operation.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I have a good deal of sympathy with what Deputy Benson has in mind, but I think he would agree himself that to make this law operative retrospectively might involve a grave injustice. A man may have developed a road or part of a road, two three, four or five years before a plan becomes operative, and the local authority is to be given power to make that man, though the plan was not in existence, pay part of the expense of the development of that road, because it comes within the scheme of the plan. It might in many cases mean a grave injustice to the individual. That is the greatest objection I have to it. But the principal objection is that it would mean legislating retrospectively. I know what the Deputy has in mind, and we would like if possible to utilise his suggestion, but I think the best way to approach the matter would be to make the plan operative as soon as possible. We have gone a long time in our cities and towns without any plans. We cannot go back on what has been done, and we cannot ask people who have put up roads or structures to go back and pay part of the cost of the development. That is what would happen if we allowed the local authorities to compel an individual who has developed a road to pay part of the cost of development if the development took place five years, or even one year, before the plan came into operation. There seems to be an element of injustice in that, and I do not think that the Dáil would readily agree that it would be a wise principle to put into our legislation.
Mr. Benson: The point surely is that the road will have been made in accordance with the plan, but before the plan becomes a statutory plan. That is the only difference. It will, in fact, or should in fact, have been made  in accordance with the plan, but owing to the delay in bringing the plan into operation, although it is made in accordance with the plan, the owner of the area developed may escape liability.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: It is legislating retrospectively, is it not?
Mr. Benson: I would hardly call it legislating retrospectively. I have suggested a compromise between my amendment and the Bill as it stands, that is to say, that anybody engaged in development work will know that when the plan becomes statutory he may be called upon to make this contribution. He will know that the road is being constructed in accordance with what the plan will be when it is eventually put into operation.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: And that he may have to bear part of the cost?
Mr. Benson: Yes. To that extent I suggest it is not retrospective, because the developer will know the terms of the Act and he will have to provide for the possibility when he is selling the houses.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I shall look into the matter again on the compromise the Deputy suggests.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 30:—
To delete sub-section (5).
This will be more appropriate in the new section which will be introduced later.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 31:—
To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—
(6) In this section references to roads or a road on particular land shall be construed as including roads or a road partly on such land and roads or a road contiguous to or in the immediate neighbourhood of such land.
This sub-section forms part of Section 14. which we have deleted. I desire to  have it introduced again as a new sub-section.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Section 16, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
(3) Section 8 of the Principal Act shall apply in relation to every affected land notice in like manner as if such notice were required to be given under the Principal Act.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 32:—
To delete sub-section (3).
This is unnecessary is view of the provision in sub-section (2) of Section 2.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Section 17, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Section 18 agreed to.
(1) Within the prescribed time after a responsible authority has made or is deemed to have made a decision on a road plan submitted to them, any person aggrieved by such decision may appeal in the prescribed manner against such decision to the Minister, and thereupon the Minister shall either confirm or annul such decision.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 33:—
In sub-section (1), page 9, line 12, to delete the words “and in the prescribed manner”.
It is not considered necessary to prescribe the manner in which appeals may be made.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Section 19, as amended, agreed to.
(1) Where a road plan is assented to (with or without modification) or is deemed to be assented to by the  responsible authority to whom it is submitted and no appeal to the Minister consequent upon such assent is taken within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, such road plan, as assented to or as deemed to be assented to by such responsible authority, shall come into force upon the expiration of the said prescribed time.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 34:—
Sub-section (1) page 9, line 12, to delete the words “and in the prescribed manner.”
This is similar to the previous amendment. It is not necessary to prescribe the method.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Section 20, as amended, ordered to. stand part of the Bill.
Section 21 agreed to.
(3) A copy of any road plan for the time being in force shall be supplied to any person interested therein by the responsible authority to whom such road plan was submitted on payment of such fee not exceeding five shillings as such responsible authority thinks reasonable.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I move amendment No. 35:—
Before Section 22, to insert a new section as follows:—
(1) Whenever a road plan has come into force and development of the land to which such road plan relates has begun, the responsible authority may serve on the owner of such land by whose authority such development has begun (in this section referred to as the developing owner) a notice requiring the carrying out, to a specified extent and within a specified time (not being less than six weeks) after the coming into force of such notice, of one or more specified provisions of such road plan.
(2) Where a notice has been served under this section, the developing owner may, not later than fourteen days after such notice is served,  appeal to the Minister against such notice and the Minister on such appeal may—
(a) confirm such notice without modification, or
(b) modify such notice by extending the time specified in such notice for compliance therewith and confirm such notice as so modified, or
(c) in case he is satisfied that it is reasonable to postpone compliance with such notice until the development of the land to which such notice relates has proceeded further, annul such notice.
(3) A notice under this section shall come into force fourteen days after it is served or, where an appeal is taken under this section against such notice and such notice is not annulled on such appeal, on the determination of such appeal.
(4) Where a notice under this section is in force and is not complied with within the time specified in that behalf in such notice or, where such time has been extended on appeal under this section, within such time as so extended, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—
(a) if such notice requires the construction or improvement of any road or portion of a road on the land to which the relevant road plan relates, the responsible authority may itself carry out such construction or improvement and for that purpose may enter upon such land;
(b) if such notice requires the payment of a sum of money to a local authority, such sum, in default of payment, shall be recoverable as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction and shall, as on and from the coming into force of such notice, be a charge on the estate of the developing owner in the land to which such notice relates;
(c) until such notice is complied with or enforced under this sub-section, the beginning or continuation of the erection on the land to which the relevant road plan relates  of any building of the class or of any of the classes specified in the relevant restricted development provision shall be a contravention of such provision;
(d) whenever the responsible authority in exercise of a power conferred by this sub-section has done any work or thing on or in respect of any structure or any land, the responsible authority shall be entitled to be paid by and to recover (as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction) from the developing owner all expenses reasonably incurred by the responsible authority in doing the said work or thing so done as aforesaid, and
(e) all moneys recoverable under this sub-section by the responsible authority in respect of expenses incurred by them shall, immediately upon completion of the work or thing in the doing of which such expenses were so incurred, become and be a charge on the estate of the developing owner on the land on which such work or thing was done or, in the case of any work or thing done on or to a structure, in such structure (if and so far as it still exists) and in the rateable hereditament or tenement consisting of or including such land or structure.
On the Second Stage of the Bill, Deputy Benson suggested that some power might be taken under Section 16 of the Bill to allow the local authority to specify the order in which work in pursuance of a road plan is to be done. I am satisfied that such a power is necessary so as to facilitate proper development where the road plan would affect the interests of two or more developing owners. The new section proposed includes a provision enabling a developing owner to appeal to the Minister against a notice requiring the carrying out of one or more specified provisions of the road plan, and the Minister may decide the appeal in either of the ways specified in sub-section (2). Where a notice is enforced and is not complied with by the developing owner within the time allowed, the responsible authority may then carry out the work and for  that purpose enter upon the land, the reasonable expenses of the responsible authority being recoverable from the developing owner.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Mr. Benson: I move amendment No. 35a:—
In sub-section (3), line 44, to delete the word “five” and substitute the word “ten”.
I do not think it requires very much explanation. It is merely to raise the fee for a copy of the road plan from 5/- to 10/-. I hope the Minister will think that that is a reasonable figure to put in.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I do not mind much, one way or the other.
Mr. Brennan: What is the purpose of increasing it?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: To charge the local authority a little more and make them pay 10/- instead of 5/-.
Mr. Brennan: I do not see any point in it.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Deputy Benson thinks they are well able to pay.
Mr. Benson: The local authority receives it surely, not pays it?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I have no objection.
Mr. Brennan: In any case, it is going to make very little difference to the local authority whether it is 10/- or 5/- it receives. I think 5/- is quite sufficient. You will have to leave it within the reasonable reach of everybody who wants it.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: That is true.
Mr. Brennan: I do not see any point in asking to have it made 10/-.
Mr. Benson: To cover out-of-pocket expenses.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I thought originally that 5/- was sufficient. If there is any  strong opinion that it should be 10/-, I have no objection.
Mr. Brennan: I am not of the opinion that it should be 10/-.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Will Deputy Benson leave it at 5/- then?
Mr. Benson: Yes.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 22, as amended, agreed to.
Section 24 agreed to.
Mr. Brennan: The Ceann Comhairle ruled out amendment No. 36 as being outside the scope of the Bill. We have touched on the matter already, and I hope the Minister will see his way to deal with the matter.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I am hoping to deal with matters of that kind and some other similar matters in a separate Bill.
Section 25 and Title agreed to.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: When is it proposed to take the Report Stage?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Put it down for Wednesday week.
Mr. Brennan: I am glad the Minister gave a fortnight, because, of course, this is a Bill of 25 sections, and the Minister himself brought in 32 or 33 amendments.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I am prepared to give longer time if necessary.
Ordered: That the Report Stage be taken on Wednesday, 22nd March.
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