Dáil debates

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Planning Issues

3:00 pm

Photo of Michael MoynihanMichael Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I have specific examples. I am mindful of the parliamentary regulations not to comment on or criticise any person or entity so I will respect that. We looked at this from the ground up. There should be recognition from the planning department and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, right across the Departments and down through to county development plans, that what we need here are clear guidelines on how community groups should be looked at and engaged with.

We engage with community groups in the very same as we do with large commercial entities. It is the same planning policy, regulation and detail. There should be clear guidance from the Department to local authorities around community groups. There are regulations in terms of agriculture, houses on farms and different things. There are clear guidelines along the way but there should be a clear guideline in recognition of the voluntary capacity in which people who set up voluntary and community organisations and do tremendous work go about their business. There should be clear recognition from the State to say we applaud the work that is done by voluntary and community groups, and that we are making a provision within the planning regulations to ensure these people are guided and helped through it and do not end up in a bureaucratic and legislative cul-de-sac. There should be clear guidance that local authorities and, indeed, Departments have to work through. There should be clear guidance and help from the State to all community and voluntary groups. They are ultimately providing a service for the State for the benefit of its citizens.


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