Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Simon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
Our role as politicians and policymakers needs to be around how we debate, prepare for and implement legislation and policy. We should not get into the realm of individual planning decisions. That is what planners are there for in terms of the professionalism they show at local authority level and, ultimately, at An Bord Pleanála level should appeals be taken. I caution against this. There are many public representatives involved in objecting to certain planning decisions but we should leave planning decisions to planners. Of course, we need to ensure the legislation and policy direction they get is appropriate to the challenges we face in rural and urban Ireland and we are trying to do this now. The approach towards policy on height in Dublin and other cities is changing appropriately to the challenges of a modern, sustainable and growing city. Likewise in rural Ireland, we need to make sure the balance right between the capacity and ability of individuals who have concerns and objections to be able to voice them and for them to be fairly considered but also to ensure we can allow the right type of development to proceed in a timely manner.