Dáil debates

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

5:00 pm

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)

I am taking this matter on behalf of the Minister of State with responsibility for housing and planning, Deputy Penrose, who is currently in the Seanad. I thank Deputies Broughan and Seán Kenny for their contributions. I will bring to the attention of the Minister of State their deep concerns and those of their constituents.

As the Deputies will be aware, Dublin City Council has initiated legal proceedings regarding compliance with planning permission and fire safety regulations in respect of the development at Priory Hall. The enforcement proceedings are still before the courts. The building regulations set out the legal requirements for the design and construction of new buildings, including houses, extensions and material alterations and certain changes of use of existing buildings. The related technical guidance documents provide guidance on how to comply with the regulations. Compliance with the regulations is the responsibility of the owner or builder of a building. Enforcement of the regulations is the responsibility of the 37 local building control authorities. In the case of Priory Hall, responsibility rests with Dublin City Council which is empowered to carry out inspections and to initiate enforcement proceedings where it is considered necessary. It is understood that Dublin City Council is continuing to actively investigate possible non-compliance with the requirements of the Building Control Acts in respect of this development. Where building defects occur, their remediation is a matter for the parties concerned - namely, the building owner, the relevant developer and the builder's insurers - in line with any contractual arrangements agreed between the parties.

Dublin City Council, as a property owner in Priory Hall, commissioned a building survey in conjunction with a number of other property owners in the complex who agreed to participate in the survey on a fee-paying basis. The report has been recently submitted to the council and copies have been forwarded to those owners who participated in the survey. The question of further publication or dissemination of the report does not, therefore, arise. Any further action in respect of the issues which have arisen in regard to this development would be a matter for Dublin City Council to deal with, as appropriate, in line with the standard arrangements in place for the discharge of its statutory functions. The Minister of State has no specific function with regard to the investigation or prosecution of offences under the Building Control Acts.


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