Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
1365. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the status of and the likely delays to decisions being made in the context of local authority delays to planning permission decisions; the related timelines of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6616/20]
Further to the COVID-19 related restrictive (including stay at home) measures introduced on foot of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020, enacted on 27 March 2020, and subsequent extensions of the initial restrictive measures, the Government has, to date, made three Orders under section 251A of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, extending the duration of all relevant periods and timelines specified in planning legislation by a cumulative total of 56 days/8 weeks. This has been done to maintain the integrity of the planning system and to ensure that public participation requirements therein are not diminished.
The Orders made to date mean that a planning authority will have the normal period of 8 weeks, together with an additional period of up to 8 weeks, i.e. up to 16 weeks in total, to determine a planning application. The Orders also mean that an interested person will have the normal period of 5 weeks, together with an additional period of up to 8 weeks, i.e. up to 13 weeks in total, to participate in the process in relation to planning applications. The exact calculation of the extended time period will depend on the date a planning application is submitted and the stage of the process it is at.
Following on from the Government's Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, published on 1 May last, it is envisaged that certain decision making processes under the planning system will shortly begin to be advanced. My Department is currently working with planning authorities in relation to the public access arrangements to be made to facilitate the public consultation aspects of the planning process, having regard to public health guidance and relevant return to work protocols relating to the local government sector.