Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
146. Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the position regarding his statement that there is enough land zoned in parts of the country to provide for housing needs up until 2075; if he will take steps to ensure that further land is not rezoned in upcoming development plans for the local authority areas concerned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35799/09]
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Deputy John Gormley): The Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2009, which is currently progressing through second stage in Seanad Éireann, will address land use zoning reform through requiring an evidence-based core strategy in development plans which must provide information on how the plan and the housing strategy are consistent with regional planning guidelines and with the National Spatial Strategy. The core strategy will outline the location, quantum, and phasing of proposed development over the period of the plan as well as details of transport plans and retail development and proposals for development in rural areas where appropriate. This more strategic approach to zoning should facilitate development to take place in a phased and sequential manner and will enable the State to coordinate and deliver the necessary infrastructure and services with much greater certainty and more efficiency.
I am also strengthening the status of Regional Planning Guidelines in the Bill and the role of regional authorities in the preparation or variation of development plans. The ongoing review and update of the Regional Planning Guidelines to be finalised in the middle of next year will be crucial to giving effect to these new legislative provisions.
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