Wednesday, 4 October 2006
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Question 227: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he intends to track progress on the unfinished housing estates identified to him following the issue of circular letter PD/106 in early 2006; the dialogue he has had with the County and City Managers Association in relation to this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30929/06]
My Department issued Circular Letter PD 1/06 in January of this year which required each planning authority to establish, as a priority, a policy on taking in charge of housing estates to be approved by the elected members. The circular also required that progress on the implementation of the policy would have to be reported on to the members on a regular basis and at least once annually. These arrangements were premised on the principle that local authorities themselves are best placed to monitor and implement action in this area. My Department's appropriate role is to assist and encourage good local authority performance. In that regard I have asked that the feasibility of including taking in charge of housing estates in the ongoing review of local authority service indicators be examined.
The issue of overall national guidance on management companies and taking in charge of residential estates is being considered by a Working Group, which includes representatives of local government nominated by the City and Country Managers Association. It is planned that, based on the outcome of the Group's work, national guidance will issue as part of expanded and revised Residential Density Guidelines, which in turn advance the Department's agenda Housing Policy Framework: Building Sustainable Communities, published last December.