Written Answers - Planning Issues.

Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 619 No. 83

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  329.  Ms C. Murphy  Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy   asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government  Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche   if his Department instructed all local authorities to [1600]include a requirement for open spaces in housing estates to be vested in the local authority as part of the taking in charge process; if so, when such a guideline was issued; the measures he has taken [1601]or intends to take in order to afford the greatest possible protection to older estates where such a requirement did not apply; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18706/06]

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Section 180 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, which was commenced on 11 March 2002, expressly provides that, where an order is made under section 11 of the Roads Act 1993 to take an estate in charge, any open spaces within the grounds of the development will be taken in charge as part of the overall development. Section 180 applies to housing estates for which permission has been granted under the 2000 Act and under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act 1963. Estates built prior to the enactment of planning legislation in 1964 may be taken in charge in accordance with the provisions set out in Section 11 of the Roads Act 1993.

My Department issued a circular letter on 25 January 2006 reminding local authorities of their obligations under section 180 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 to begin the procedures to take in charge the public services of housing estates once these are completed to a satisfactory standard, where they are requested to do so by the developer or a majority of the residents of the housing development. The circular letter also clearly states that the existence of a management company to maintain elements of common buildings, carry out landscaping, etc. must not impact upon the decision by the authority to take in [1602]charge roads and related infrastructure where a request to do so is made.

  330.  Ms C. Murphy  Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy   asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government  Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche   the number of housing estates over seven years that remain to be taken in charge per county; the number of housing units contained in these estates; the number of housing estates over two years that remain to be taken in charge per county; the number of housing units contained in these estates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18707/06]

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  On 26 January 2006 my Department issued Circular Letter PD 1/06 reminding planning authorities of their responsibilities in relation to the taking in charge of estates and asking that each authority adopt a policy in this regard. This circular also requested a report from each authority on the issues of estates to be taken in charge. The vast majority of returns have now been received and these indicate that virtually all planning authorities either have a policy in place for talking estates in charge or are in the course of developing one. The returns also indicate that about 550 estates will be taken in charge in 2006, affecting almost 26,000 houses.

The table below sets out the number of housing estates for which planning permission expired more than two years ago that have yet to be taken in charge; it also sets out the number of houses in these estates.

1 1 2 3
Manager’s Area How many housing estates do you anticipate will be taken in charge in your area this year? How many houses are affected? How many housing estates for which the life of the relevant planning permission expired more than 2 years ago in the county/city area have not yet been taken in charge? For how many of the estates referred to in Answer 2, did the relevant permission expire more than 7 years ago? Total number of housing estates for which the life of planning permission expired more than 2 years ago which have not been taken in charge? Total number of houses for which the life of planning permission expired more than 2 years ago which have not been taken in charge?
Carlow 17 704 11 1 8 456
Cavan 8 320 25 13 25 684
Clare 14 579 128 51 128 5478
Cork 52 2300 235 34 230 7404
Donegal 20 410 201 88 201 3700
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown 10 0 42 35 45 2500
Fingal N\S N\S N\S N\S N\S N\S
Galway N\S N\S N\S N\S N\S N\S
Kerry 6 111 8 0 8 112
Kildare 49 5534 109 42 109 5666
Kilkenny 20 764 8 6 6 158
Laois N\S N\S N\S N\S N\S N\S
Leitrim 6 131 15 0 15 0
Limerick 47 1216 62 32 62 2748
Longford 9 211 30 2 30 245
Louth 25 1005 108 65 64 2517
Mayo 21 562 112 40 112 360
Meath 15 907 112 46 112 4187
Monaghan 15 671 26 12 14 380

1 1 2 3
Manager’s Area How many housing estates do you anticipate will be taken in charge in your area this year? How many houses are affected? How many housing estates for which the life of the relevant planning permission expired more than 2 years ago in the county/city area have not yet been taken in charge? For how many of the estates referred to in Answer 2, did the relevant permission expire more than 7 years ago? Total number of housing estates for which the life of planning permission expired more than 2 years ago which have not been taken in charge? Total number of houses for which the life of planning permission expired more than 2 years ago which have not been taken in charge?
Offaly 6 298 46 5 13 621
Roscommon 6 109 0 0 0 0
Sligo 26 514 38 12 38 1024
South Dublin 16 2046 35 10 35 4000
Tipperary NR 6 365 21 10 21 1061
Tipperary SR 15 280 17 6 6 149
Waterford 8 360 3 2 3 160
Westmeath 18 1096 26 9 26 1824
Wexford 13 326 170 68 151 3008
Wicklow 43 1330 83 31 83 2619
Subtotal 491 22149 1671 620 1545 51061
City Councils
Cork 16 835 30 12 30 1147
Dublin 1 325 121 54 121 5039
Galway 15 647 47 27 47 2198
Limerick 16 950 70 60 0 800
Waterford 11 919 16 9 16 882
Subtotal 59 3676 284 162 214 10066
Total 550 25825 1955 782 1759 61127

[1607]

  331.  Ms C. Murphy  Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy   asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government  Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche   the local authorities which indicated they had included a management company obligation as a condition of planning permission for housing developments; if the practice has ceased for similar new developments; the measures local authorities informed him they intend to take to overcome problems for housing developments where inappropriate planning conditions on management companies applied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18708/06]

  332.  Mr. Gilmore  Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore   asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government  Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche   if the Government intends to ban management companies in housing estates. [18854/06]

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  I propose to take Questions Nos. 331 and 332 together.

In late 2005 I requested that a survey be carried out of planning authorities regarding their policy on attaching planning conditions relating to management companies in housing developments. The responses to that survey indicate that the majority of planning authorities do not attach conditions to planning permissions requiring [1608]management companies to be set up in the case of housing estates. A number do in very specific circumstances, for example, where there is a shared waste water treatment plant between a number of houses. Given the existence of such circumstances, it would not be appropriate to place an absolute ban on attaching planning conditions requiring management companies in housing estates.

On 26 January 2006 my Department issued Circular Letter PD 1/06 reminding planning authorities of their responsibilities in relation to the taking in charge of estates and asking that each authority adopt a policy in this regard. This circular clearly stated that the existence of a management company to maintain elements of common buildings, carry out landscaping, etc. must not impact upon the decision by the authority to take in charge roads and related infrastructure where a request to do so is made. I am considering whether any additional advice is required in relation to this matter. A Law Reform Commission Working Group is currently examining legal aspects of the management of multi-unit structures generally and the Government will consider the recommendations in its final report, including the need for any new legislation in this area.


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