Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Question 415: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will instruct the Dublin Docklands Development Authority to postpone the Poolbeg plan process until after the DDDA issues its annual accounts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35831/09]
Question 416: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he is monitoring the expenditure of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and whether the authority enjoys his full confidence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35832/09]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 415 and 416 together.
I understand that the Annual Accounts of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) for 2008 are now being finalised within the Authority and will be submitted to my Department in the coming days, following which I will arrange for them to be considered by Government and laid before both Houses.
In accordance with Section 25 of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Act 1997, the preparation of a draft Planning Scheme is a matter for the Authority. The legislation requires that a scheme detail how it is envisaged that the area covered by the scheme is to be developed, including policies in relation to land use, distribution and location of development, overall design, transportation, the development of amenities and conservation. The draft scheme for Poolbeg has completed a public consultation process and I understand that the Authority is currently examining more than 100 submissions received. The Authority expects to submit the planning scheme to my Department before the end of the year. Once the draft planning scheme is submitted to me, and following consultation with the Minister for Finance and consideration of any objections from Dublin City Council, I have the option of approving the draft planning scheme with or without modification.
My Department has a general oversight function, in relation to the Authority, to ensure that it complies with its statutory obligations as set down in the 1997 Act. Among these obligations are requirements regarding the manner in which the Authority maintains its accounts and submits the accounts annually for audit to an approved auditor. My Department, in conjunction with the Department of Finance, also oversees the issuing and monitoring of borrowings sanctioned for the Authority.
I wrote to the Chair of the Authority in August 2009 re-affirming my continued support for the Authority's work in the challenging period ahead and acknowledging the future work of the Authority as a priority project for the City and the State.