Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
497. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government when he plans to sign the order to release the national taking-in-charge scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20635/19]
498. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if there are impediments preventing him from signing the order to release the national taking-in-charge scheme; the steps he plans to take to relieve those impediments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20636/19]
509. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the funding committed to the new scheme in view of the review of taking-in-charge initiative measure 2 report published in December 2018; and if he will now open the new scheme and invite local authorities to make applications. [20865/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 497, 498 and 509 together.
My Department launched the National Taking-in-Charge Initiative (NTICI) in April 2016 to trial new approaches and working methods in supporting and accelerating overall national and local action on the taking-in-charge process of housing estates, including estates with developer-provided water services infrastructure which can include stand-alone treatment plants. Under the terms of the NTICI, which was underpinned by €10 million in funding, developments subject to valid taking-in-charge applications were eligible for inclusion in the associated call for funding proposals. Ultimately, €7.5 million of the allocated funding was paid to local authorities in respect of 330 developments, containing some 14,930 homes.
Findings and recommendations from the NTICI process were included in a report on the initiative that was published by my Department in December 2018. the report is available at the following link:
The publication of the NTICI report is of value to local authorities and other stakeholders in applying the lessons from the pilot authorities, in a more general roll-out of a streamlined approach to taking-in-charge, including through coordination with capital works by Irish Water. In this regard, my Department is liaising with Irish Water in relation to the report.
Ultimately, however, progression of individual developments through the taking-in-charge process is a matter for the relevant housing developer, the residents in such developments and the relevant local authorities, following the procedures laid out in section 180.
The National Development Plan, published last year, includes provision of €31 million for the period 2018-2021 for developer-provided infrastructure, commencing with an estimates provision of €6 million in 2019. The multi-annual programme will be initiated through the invitation of project bids from local authorities followed by their evaluation by an Expert Panel, set up by my Department, to independently evaluate the bid projects to be approved for funding.
My Department is currently finalising the details of programme and it is expected that the invitation of project bids from local authorities will issue shortly, with approval of projects for this first cycle multi-annual programme to take place once proposals submitted have been assessed.