Tuesday, 8 December 2015
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
580. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he is aware of an enforcement order issued by Westmeath County Council in respect of a company (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he can provide an update in respect of the implementation of Order. [44080/15]
581. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if a company (details supplied) was in receipt of Leader funding in 2013 after an enforcement order was issued against it; the reason for this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44081/15]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 580 and 581 together.
Responsibility for planning enforcement under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, is a matter for the relevant local authority, in this case Westmeath County Council. Under section 30 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 Act, I am specifically precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to any particular case, including a matter of planning enforcement, with which a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála is or may be concerned.
Westmeath Community Development Ltd. are contracted to deliver the LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (RDP) in Westmeath and are the decision-makers in relation to the allocation of project funding. This is in line with the ‘bottom up’ approach to rural development. The decision to award funding to the project referred to by the Deputy was taken by Westmeath Community Development Ltd. on 29 March 2012, with funding of €13,387 paid on 26 July 2013.
The provision of LEADER funding is subject to compliance with both EU and national regulations and rules at all times. In relation to the marina referred to by the Deputy in the details supplied, I am advised that funding was awarded and paid in respect of a feasibility study, which inter alia examined the project promoter’s existing business and potential business opportunities. No funding was provided for the development of the marina per se. Accordingly, I am satisfied that the enforcement order from Westmeath County Council was not breached by the LEADER funded project.