Written Answers - Planning Issues.

Tuesday, 9 November 2004

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 592 No. 1

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  380.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government  Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche   the number of grants of planning permission by Fingal County Council which were overturned by An Bord Pleanála since 1999. [27842/04]

  381.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government  Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche   the number of appeals of planning refusals made by Fingal County Council which were overturned by An Bord Pleanála since 1999. [27843/04]

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  I propose to take Questions Nos. 380 and 381 together.

Information on the number of planning decisions of Fingal County Council, which were overturned on appeal to An Bord Pleanála, is contained in the annual reports of An Bord Pleanála, which are available in the Oireachtas Library. However, these reports do not distinguish whether the overturn was of a grant or a refusal of planning permission by the local authority. The breakdown of figures sought in the question is not available in my Department.

  382.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government  Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche   if an Bord Pleanála has put a system in place to monitor the quality of its decisions and a system to set out reasons in cases in which its final decisions depart from an inspector’s recommendation. [27844/04]

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Under section 34 (10) of the Planning and Development Act 2000, the board is required to indicate the main reasons and considerations on which its decisions are based. Where a decision by the board to grant or refuse permission is different from the recommendations in the report of the inspector in any particular case, the board must indicate the main reasons for not accepting the recommendations.

As part of the response to the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the operation of the planning appeals system, an Bord Pleanála has put in place a mechanism in relation to complaints against its decisions. Upon receipt of such a complaint, the file relating to the decision will be reviewed and, although the decision itself will stand, where necessary, the board may issue a clarification.

  383.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government  Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche   if [292]guidelines or rules are in place for An Bord Pleanála in relation to the provision of an inspector’s report when determining a planning matter. [27845/04]

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Section 146 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 enables An Bord Pleanála to authorise a person to prepare a report on any matter on behalf of the board. Any person so authorised must make a written report to the board, which must include recommendations, and the board must consider the report and recommendations before determining the matter. An Bord Pleanála has issued guidance notes to its inspectors on the main issues to be reported on in making a report to the board. Section 150 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 Act provides for the adoption by An Bord Pleanála of a code of conduct for dealing with conflicts of interest and promoting public confidence in the conduct of its business.

The code further requires that persons employed by the board are to carry out its work in an independent manner that embodies the public service ethos of integrity, impartiality and a desire to serve the public interest while giving due consideration to all legitimate viewpoints and interests.


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