Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
542. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government his plans to review regulations whereby the proposed layout of houses submitted for planning are published online and in public and instead allow them to be viewed in local authority planning offices by persons who have signed a log or record in advance in view of the ongoing burglaries throughout the country and with a view to make it more difficult for burglars. [52762/17]
Public participation is a crucial element of all substantive decision-making processes under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended and a requirement under the UN Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters as well as the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directives in relation to certain types of developments.
The current arrangements for members of the public to view planning applications and related documents in local authority offices and, increasingly, on-line, contribute significantly to the openness and transparency of the planning process. Restricting or limiting access to these documents in the manner suggested by the Deputy would not be in line with the policies and progress made in facilitating public participation to the greatest extent possible, and accordingly, I have no proposals to amend the regulations in this regard.