Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
164. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will issue guidance to local authorities to take prior breaches of building regulation into account under section 35 of the Planning and Development Act 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29882/20]
165. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to planning applications that have been refused based on past failure to comply as provided for in Section 35 of the Planning and Development Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29883/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 164 and 165 together.
Section 35 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the Act), which relates to refusal of planning permission for past failures, enables planning authorities to refuse an application for planning permission to those responsible for a previous development where it is satisfied that an applicant, a partnership of which the applicant is or was a member, or a registered society or company under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1893 to 2014, is not in compliance with a previous permission or with a condition to which a previous permission is subject, has carried out substantial unauthorised development, or has been convicted of an offence under the Act. Section 35 of the Act further provides that an application for planning permission may be refused in situations where a developer has previously left an estate unfinished under one company name and then re-applies for permission for a new development under a different company name.
Supplementary to the foregoing, section 34 of the Act, which relates to applications for development, provides that planning authorities shall, in the assessment and determination of planning applications, have specific regard to previous developments by a developer which have not been satisfactorily completed as well as any previous convictions against the developer for non-compliance with the Planning Act, the Building Control Act 2007 and the Fire Services Act 1981.
Under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014, primary responsibility for compliance of works with the requirements of the Building Regulations rests with the owners, designers and builders of buildings. Enforcement of the Building Regulations is a matter for the 31 local building control authorities, who have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under the Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003, the Building Control Acts, the Housing Acts and the Planning and Development Acts and who are independent in the use of their statutory powers.
As the foregoing legislative provisions and powers are already available to local authorities, I have no plans to issue specific guidance in this matter.