Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
535. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the number of enforcement orders that have been lodged against apartment owners for using their home for home sharing by local authorities to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50734/17]
539. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the number of applications for change of use by apartment dwellers for the purposes of home sharing that have been lodged in local authorities to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50822/17]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 535 and 539 together.
Planning statistics are compiled by each planning authority on an annual basis for collation and publication on my Department’s website. The statistics collected relate to the total numbers of:
- Invalid applications received,
- Applications received for outline permission and full permission,
- Decisions to grant/refuse permission,
- Decisions issued within the statutory eight-week period,
- Decisions deferred, and
- Percentages for grants/refusals, decisions made within eight weeks and decisions deferred.
The statistics collected relate to the total number of applications and decisions for all developments that require planning permission, broken down by year and planning authority but are not broken down by development type.
Therefore, the specific information requested in relation to the number of planning applications made for a particular development type and in relation to enforcement action taken in particular cases is not collated or available within my Department's statistics. However, from next year onwards, my Department will collect information on short-term letting including in relation to enforcement action, and this will be published on my Department's website in the usual manner.
536. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the number of decisions before An Bord Pleanála that have been delayed over the past year; the number that involved the construction of residential units; the number of residential units impacted; the measures being taken to ensure that An Bord Pleanála will have increased capacity to make decisions; when he expects the delays will end; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50750/17]
Under section 126 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, An Bord Pleanála (the Board) has a statutory objective to determine appeals within 18 weeks. During the period January to October 2017, the Board disposed of 1,763 cases. The breakdown of these cases is as follows:
|Cases Disposed||Number disposed in 2017 as of end October 2017||Number disposed in Statutory Objective Period||% Disposed in Statutory Objective Period||Number disposed outside Statutory Objective Period||% Disposed outside Statutory Objective Period|
|Housing Schemes involving 30+ units||77||42||55%||35||45%|
In relation to the cases disposed outside the statutory objective period, the number of housing units involved was 2,685, which included 3 proposed student accommodation cases involving 622 bed spaces.
Earlier this year, five new members were appointed to the Board replacing outgoing members; the five new appointees took up office during the period June to September 2017. While this change-over resulted in a temporary reduction in Board capacity for a period in mid-2017, the Board has now been restored to its previous complement of nine members and it is anticipated that the impacts of the temporary reduced capacity will be resolved in the months ahead.
In relation to housing developments specifically, the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 provides for new streamlined arrangements to enable planning applications for strategic housing developments, of 100 housing units or more or student accommodation developments of 200 bed spaces or more, to be made directly to the Board for determination within a period of 16 weeks.
With regard to resourcing the Board to support the new arrangements, a new Strategic Housing Division has been established, involving the recruitment of an additional 10 staff members to work solely on strategic housing developments. I am also considering exercising my powers under the Planning Acts to appoint two additional Board members to ensure sufficient capacity within the Board, when strategic housing development applications are referred to Board level for final determination.