Thursday, 15 December 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
455. Ms C. Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if a review has taken place of the delivery of social and affordable houses under Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000; if so, the findings of this review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39968/05]
460. Ms C. Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if, during his review of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000, he will consider including purpose built creches, currently constructed to accompany every 75 dwellings, as a community gain with developments that return cash not houses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39974/05]
A review of Part V, which was promised in An Agreed Programme for Government, was undertaken by my Department in consultation with major stakeholders in 2002. These included local authorities, professional institutes, social housing providers and other social housing interests, in addition to the Irish Home Builders Association which represented the views of house builders on the matter.
The review resulted in a number of changes to Part V, which were introduced in the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2002. The key changes related to the repeal of the two-year withering provision and the introduction of greater flexibility into the operation of Part V by providing a menu of options for compliance with Part V. In addition to the existing options of providing land, units or sites within the proposed development, agreements with developers can now include the transfer of other land within the local authority’s functional area; the provision of new units on other lands within the functional area; the transfer of fully or partially serviced sites to the local authority or to an approved housing association; and the payment of money in lieu or a combination of the above.
The legislation provides that any Part V moneys accumulated by a planning authority should be lodged to a separate account which should only be used as capital for its functions under Part V or as capital by a housing authority for its functions in relation to the provision of housing under the Housing Acts 1966 to 2002. This could include meeting the capital costs of providing child care facilities in both new and existing local authority housing estates.
I am satisfied, based on output data to date, that Part V is contributing significantly to the provision of social and affordable housing and while I have no proposals for another formal review of Part V at this time, I can confirm that my Department keeps its operation under continual appraisal.
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