June 13, 2024
Planning Bill will delay housing, renewable energy and critical infrastructure – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has said that the Planning Bill, if enacted, will result in significant delays to much needed housing, renewable energy and critical infrastructure.

The Dublin Mid-West TD’s comments were made after the Bill passed final stage in the Dáil last night. It will now progress to the Seanad.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“The Planning and Development Bill 2023 is not fit for purpose. If enacted, it will result in significant delays to much needed housing, renewable energy and critical infrastructure development.

“The legislation is overly complex, littered with confusion and unduly cumbersome. It will lead to increased conflict in the planning system resulting in more third-party challenges, appeals and litigation.

“Of course this should not come as a surprise given Fianna Fáil’s long history of misuse and abuse of the planning system..

“Fianna Fail cannot be trusted on planning. They have chronically under-resourced the planning system for years. They facilitated the disastrous Strategic Housing Development legislation in 2017 which caused havoc in the planning system.

“Sinn Féin wants to get planning right. During the detailed scrutiny of the Bill we listened carefully to planners, residential developers, wind energy companies, environmental groups and community representatives. All of these sectors were highly critical of the Bill.

“We engaged with the Bill constructively, tabling hundreds of amendments. Unfortunately, the Bill at final stage in the Dáil did not take any of our substantive concerns on board.

“The Bill adds very significant layers of bureaucracy to the planning system. This will create enormous confusion for applicants and decision-makers.

“The Bill is unclear and contradictory. This will lead to increased levels of litigation.

“The Bill undermines the role of the Oireachtas, Councillors and communities. This will result in less transparency, accountability, and critically less public support for much needed development. In turn this will lead to increased third party observations and appeals.

“I am also concerned that despite the Bill adding significantly to the workload of our planning authorities there is no multi annual work force plan to accompany its many new and convoluted measures. Planning Authorities are already chronically understaffed. Without significantly increased resources, this will cause even greater delays in plan making and planning decisions.

“Darragh O’Brien promised to consolidate all existing planning legislation into a single streamlined bill that would provide clarity, consistency and certainty.

“Instead, we have got a bill that is unwieldy and unworkable. This is not just Sinn Féin’s view but is the view of professional planners in the Irish Planning Institute and many across the public, private and semi state development sectors.

“Unfortunately the Minister refused to listen and the bill, which will do real damage to the planning system, has now progressed to the Seanad.”

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