Wednesday, 24 March 1999
Dáil Éireann Debate
142. Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the additional measures, if any, agreed between his Department and An Bord Pleanála to help reduce the length of time involved in decisions on planning appeals; if An Bord Pleanála has been asked to submit proposals to his Department in relation to its efficiency, effectiveness and adequacy of resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8548/99]
Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): My Department and An Bord Pleanála have been discussing a number of measures to enable the board to process appeals more expeditiously in the context of the continued escalation in the number of appeals being received. As a result the appointment of additional planning and administrative staff has been approved, the board has advertised in the UK for planners to overcome the difficulties experienced in recruiting here, the board is endeavouring to engage additional consultants to report on appeals and I have approved an increase in the fee payable per case to assist in this and in response to the board's request, I will shortly place before the Houses of the Oireachtas a draft Order to permit the appointment of a further member to the board, in addition to the increase from six to nine last year.
Having regard to the fact that the number of appeals has doubled within the last five years, it is clear that there has been a significant increase in productivity in the operations of the board. Measures to further improve efficiency are being developed by the board.
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