Written answers

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Planning Issues

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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45. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he remains committed to terminating the Strategic Housing Development planning process in February 2022, in view of the recently announced planning legislation review; if he plans to implement a new planning arrangement for large-scale residential proposals before this review is completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48595/21]

Photo of Peter BurkePeter Burke (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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My colleague, Minister O'Brien, submitted a Memorandum to Government on 13 July 2021, accompanied by a General Scheme of a Planning and Development (Amendment) (LSRD) Bill 2021 (the General Scheme), outlining proposals for the replacement of the current planning arrangements in respect of Strategic Housing Developments (SHDs) with new streamlined arrangements for large-scale residential developments (LSRDs). The proposed new arrangements will effectively restore decision-making on such large scale housing developments to local authorities in the first instance.

The proposed new LSRD arrangements will comprise 3 pillars: pre-application consultation stage, planning application stage and appeal stage, summarised as follows -

- planning authorities will be required to complete the “final consultation meeting” element of the pre-application consultation stage, involving a bilateral meeting between the planning authority and the developer, within 8 weeks of the receipt of a request for such meeting;

- subsequent LSRD planning applications will be generally required to be determined by planning authorities within 8 weeks of receipt of an application;

- the determination of appeals against planning decisions by planning authorities will be generally required to be determined by An Bord Pleanála within 16 weeks of receipt of an appeal.

The application of these new arrangements is intended to streamline the decision making process for LSRDs, thereby providing greater certainty and clarity to developers regarding the timelines for decisions in respect of such development proposals.

Further details in relation to the proposals are set out in the General Scheme which is available at: www.gov.ie/en/publication/a10f2-general-scheme-of-planning-and-development-amendment-lsrd-bill-2021/.

Pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme has already been undertaken by the Joint Oireachtas Committee (JOC) on Housing, Local Government and Heritage in September 2021. The report of the JOC on the General Scheme has just been received this week by my Department and drafting of the Bill is well advanced.

Once approved by Government and published, it is intended that the Bill will be progressed through the Oireachtas and enacted as soon as possible with the new LSRD arrangements commencing on enactment of the Bill. The LSRD and SHD planning consent schemes will both operate concurrently for a limited period of time with developers being able to choose which process to engage with during this interim period. Once the final SHD planning applications have worked their way through the system, the LSRD arrangements will be the sole planning consent system for housing applications of this scale.


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