Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
151. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the legal ownership of open green areas in estates that have been taken over by a respective local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30820/20]
Whilst the ownership of property lies with the registered owner, the taking in charge process under section 180 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the Act) provides that the local authority shall, on completion of the process set out in the section, take responsibility for public open spaces (green areas) or public car parks within the attendant grounds of the development. The green areas which are taken in charge must remain accessible to the public.
Where development has been carried out on lands pursuant to a permission given under section 34 of the Act, to which a condition requiring the provision or maintenance of land as open space was attached to the permission, or it was either explicit or implicit in the application for the permission that land would be provided or maintained as such open space, the planning authority is empowered to take further action in relation to such open space under section 45 of the Act.
In this regard, under section 45(1)(c) of the Act, the planning authority can serve on the owner of the land a written request that, within a period specified in the request (being a period of not less than 8 weeks commencing on the date of the request), he or she will provide, level, plant or otherwise adapt or maintain the land in a manner so specified, being a manner which in its opinion would make it suitable for the purpose for which the open space was to be provided.
Where the owner fails to comply with a written request to undertake the specified requested actions on the open space, the planning authority may, if it thinks fit, publish in a newspaper circulating in the district a notice (an “acquisition notice”) of its intention to acquire the land by order under this section and the acquisition notice shall specify a period (being a period of not less than 4 weeks commencing on the date on which the notice is published) within which an appeal may be made by the owner to An Bord Pleanála.
Subject to the outcome of any appeal that may be lodged, the planning authority can make an order to vest the land to which the acquisition notice relates and send the order to the registering authority under the Registration of Title Act 1964, and thereupon the registering authority shall cause the planning authority to be the registered owner of the land in accordance with the order. Any claim for compensation in respect of land to which an order relates shall, in default of agreement, be determined by arbitration under the terms of the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act 1919 in like manner as if such claim arose in relation to the compulsory acquisition of the land in question.