Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Question 335: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he is satisfied that decisions being awaited from An Bord Pleanála are being received in a reasonably timely manner; and his plans to prescribe a period, or periods, of time during which the board must make decisions in a manner similar to the timeframes that apply to local authorities during the application process. [20685/11]
Willie Penrose (Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing and Planning, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government; Longford-Westmeath, Labour)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 335 and 341 together.
Under section 126 of the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2010, it is a statutory objective of An Bord Pleanála to determine appeals and certain other matters within 18 weeks. The statutory objective period was achieved in 79% of all cases at the end of May 2011. The Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 introduced a range of measures further to assist the Board in managing its case load.
Section 131 of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 – 2010 empowers the Board, in the context of appeals or referrals, to request submissions or observations from: (i) any party to an appeal or referral; (ii) any person who made a submission or observations to the Board in relation to an appeal or referral; or (iii) any other body.
In addition, under planning legislation, it is a requirement for applicants, prior to the submission of applications for strategic infrastructure development, to engage in consultation with bodies prescribed under article 213 of the Planning and Development Regulations. I have no plans, at this time, to amend the Regulations in this regard.