November 19, 2019
Sinn Féin raise serious concerns about new planning legislation

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has raised serious concerns with the government’s proposed changes to planning legislation, in particular the moves by the government to restrict access to the judicial review process on planning decisions.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The general scheme of this Bill follows a familiar trend of this government facilitating developer led planning, which is to detriment of the democratic process.

“The government has requested that the Oireachtas Housing committee should waive pre legislative scrutiny in order to fast track the Bill and the Committee refused.

“We refused on the grounds that this is a significant proposed change to the planning process. It is essential that full scrutiny of the proposals is undertaken by the Committee before any decisions are taken.

“I requested that Committee seeks independent legal advice on whether any aspect of the general scheme breaches Ireland’s obligations under the Aarhaus Convention and EU environmental law.

“I further requested that the Committee seeks independent research on judicial reviews from the Oireachtas Research Service.

“When the committee members have this independent legal and research information we will then proceed to consider the general scheme of the Bill. Sinn Féin’s approach to this legislation will be guided by our belief in ensuring our planning system is open transparent and ensures full participation by all relevant stakeholders.

“As it stands we are not willing to support the general scheme of this Bill as it stands.”

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