Written answers

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Planning Issues

Paul Donnelly (Dublin West, Sinn Fein)
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122. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the reason for the €20 fee for members of Dáil Éireann to submit planning observations given it is free for councillors. [9088/21]

Photo of Peter BurkePeter Burke (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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The Planning and Development (Amendment)(Fees) Regulations 2018 amended article 168 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 to provide that the fee for making a submission or observation to a planning authority in respect of a planning application shall not be payable by a member of a local authority acting in his or her capacity as a member. This waiver does not extend to other public representatives. This added local authority elected members, to the list of persons/bodies that are not required the pay the €20 fee when making submissions / observations on planning applications. This list also includes local authorities, prescribed bodies specified under article 28 of the 2001 Regulations, State authorities and trans-boundary States.

The Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018 gave legislative effect to a number of planning related recommendations of the Tribunal of Inquiry Into Certain Planning Matters and Payments (the Mahon Tribunal). During the progress of the 2018 Act through the Oireachtas, the consensus arrived at was that the implementation of the Tribunal planning related recommendations should be supplemented by the introduction of waived fee arrangements for the elected members of local authorities in respect of the making of observations or submissions on planning applications.

In this regard, it was considered that the abolition of the €20 observation fee for elected members would enable them to participate in the planning process in a transparent way, but without undue expense, having regard to their role as democratically elected representatives for their areas. The subsequent Planning and Development (Amendment)(Fees) Regulations 2018 brought these waived fee arrangements for elected members of local authorities into force.

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