Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Abandonment of Derelict Cars.

Wednesday, 19 February 1969

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 238 No. 9

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33.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  asked the Minister for Local Government what arrangements he proposes to make to prevent old derelict cars being abandoned to despoil the countryside.

Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  Some legislative action has already been taken to provide improved powers for dealing with the problem to which the Deputy refers. Section 63 of the Road Traffic Act, 1968, substituted a new section for section 97 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, and the new provision empowers me to make regulations authorising and providing for the removal, storage and disposal of vehicles which have been, or appear to have been, abandoned on public road or public car park or which have been parked illegally. Regulations under the section are at present being prepared.

As regards the use of privatelyowned land for the dumping of old vehicles or parts of vehicles, it is expressly laid down in section 3 of the [1216] Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963, that where land becomes used for such a purpose the use of the land is materially changed and planning permission for the new use is accordingly required. If planning permission is not sought or obtained, the planning authority could have recourse to their enforcement powers under the Act to secure that the use is discontinued. I appreciate that the powers contained in the 1963 Act may not be effective to deal with all cases of dumping of old vehicles on private land and particularly with the anti-social activity of people who dump old vehicles or parts of vehicles on private property without the consent of the owner or occupier of the land. This problem is difficult to deal with by legislative means but the position will be kept under review.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  Can the Minister say when he hopes to make the regulations?

Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  They are being prepared at present. I do not know how long it will take. It should not take very much longer.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  A month or two months?

Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  Probably a month or two.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  Can the Minister say if the regulations he proposes to make will deal effectively with the socalled scrap dealer who leaves a line of broken-down vehicles in built-up areas over a considerable period and, if he is approached by the garda or anyone else, moves them up and down for the purpose of being able to say they are not permanently there? Would the Minister say if it will also prevent people from dismantling old cars in private building areas on their own property?

Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  Yes, planning permission is required for that latter activity and it is to be hoped that the regulations will cover the other problem.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  Even if it is only one vehicle?

[1217]Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  If the property is being used for that purpose, planning permission is required.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  When it is a council housing estate and cars are scattered all over the place, how can they be dealt with?

Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  On the public road?

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  On the public road.

Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  It is to be hoped that the regulations will be effective to deal with that.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Would the Minister give sympathetic consideration to the possibility of entering into some kind of agreement with the car assemblers so that the people who assemble these cars can be held in some way as being responsible for removing derelicts at a later stage? Is the Minister aware that it has been suggested in some countries that the manufacturers of the vehicles can be held responsible for this type of vehicle when it reaches the end of its days? Would he consider this a reasonable proposal in this country?

Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  I will investigate it. I never heard it.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  Does the Minister in his regulations propose to deal with dumping in a public place on the lines of the Road Traffic Act, rather than on a public road? In other words, I mean that in certain circumstances the public have access to the side of a road but it is not the road. The Road Traffic Act deals with that when they are in a public place. Why does the Minister's regulation not follow the same line?

Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  That is the intention.

Dr. O'Connell: Information on John F. O'Connell  Zoom on John F. O'Connell  Would the Minister make it obligatory on car owners to return the registration book?

Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  What do you do if they do not do it?

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  They should return the car along with the book and get them to heck out of the way.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  There is on every chassis [1218] a number. Would the Minister not think it proper where a person discards a car on a street such as Merrion Road and removes all the plates and so forth, that an example of a case of that kind be made by getting the chassis number, following the history of the car and prosecuting the person who was last registered as owner? I admit it is a cumbersome procedure but, if an example were made of that kind, I feel it might mitigate this abuse.

Mr. Boland: Information on Kevin Boland  Zoom on Kevin Boland  I agree it might.

Mr. Coogan: Information on Fintan Coogan  Zoom on Fintan Coogan  The country is in a state of chassis.


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