Tuesday, 5 December 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
533. Mr. Costello asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will make provision for the establishment of small playschools on the same basis as small bed and breakfasts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41318/06]
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): I assume that the Questions refers to article 10(4) of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 which sets out an exemption for development consisting of the use of not more than 4 bedrooms in a house, where each bedroom is used for the accommodation of not more than 4 persons, as overnight guest accommodation.
Article 10(5) of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 already sets out exemptions for the use of a house for the purpose of child-minding. For the purposes of the Planning Acts child-minding is defined as the activity of minding no more than 6 children, including the children, if any, of the person minding, in the house of that person, for profit or gain.
In addition, planning authorities currently require the provision of at least one child care facility for each 75 dwellings in a new housing area, in accordance with the Child care Guidelines for Planning Authorities published in April 2001. Under the Planning and Development Act 2000 planning authorities have extensive powers to provide or facilitate the provision of child care facilities in their functional area, through appropriate strategic planning through the development plan, the setting of appropriate conditions on planning permissions and the use of development contributions to pay for the capital cost of community facilities. I am satisfied that these powers, used proactively, will facilitate an adequate supply of child care places through the planning process. Accordingly, it is not proposed to amend the Act or Regulations in this respect.
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