Written answers

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government

Planning Issues

9:00 pm

Photo of Liz McManusLiz McManus (Wicklow, Labour)
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Question 124: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will set up a task force within his Department to examine the possible regulation of the planning status of adult entertainment venues and shops and if such regulation can be achieved through the planning code; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30901/06]

Photo of Dick RocheDick Roche (Minister, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Minister of State, Department of An Taoiseach; Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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A number of issues have arisen recently in relation to the regulation of entertainment and other late night venues such as licensed premises, adult entertainment venues and casinos. Careful consideration is needed of whether the planning code is an appropriate mechanism to regulate these activities either alone or in conjunction with other regulatory regimes.

Entertainment venues and shops, adult or otherwise, are already potentially subject to a wide range of different regulatory requirements, a number of which may come within the remit of my colleague, the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, such as alcohol and dance hall licensing. The importation and sale of pornography are addressed by the criminal and customs codes. The interaction of these codes with the planning code needs also to be considered.

I therefore intend to propose to the Tánaiste the establishment of a task force to examine issues involved in the location of entertainment and other late night venues and to make recommendations on how they should best be regulated. In advance of the considerations of such a task force, local authorities should use those powers currently available to them under the planning code when considering applications for late night and other venues to ensure that they are not inappropriately located, for example in quiet residential areas.

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