September 15, 2022
Time for a fresh start at An Bord Pleanála – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that it is time for a fresh start at An Bord Pleanála. 

During today’s Dáil debate on the ongoing crisis at An Bord Pleanála, Deputy Ó Broin said that this can only be achieved with a significant change of its membership.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“An Bord Pleanála is in a deep crisis. This has been caused by an avalanche of revelations in the media, led by The Ditch online news site, regarding conflicts of interest, improper decision-making and breaches of internal procedures. 

“These revelations related to seven members of An Bord Pleanála, have led to three inquiries, one resignation, possible criminal proceedings, no-confidence motions in a number of local authorities and a dramatic loss of public confidence.

“An Bord Pleanála has also suffered from bad planning policy from government, including the conflict between central government mandatory ministerial guidelines and city and county development plans. 

“This has led to a dramatic increase in legal challenges to legally questionable An Bord Pleanála decisions, lost judicial reviews and significant increase in legal costs.

“Minister Darragh O’Brien must urgently act to restore public confidence in the work of An Bord Pleanála. This can only be achieved with a significant change of its membership. 

“Responsibility starts at the top, and the Minister must be bold in doing what is necessary to restore public confidence in An Bord Pleanála’s work. 

“He must bring forward legislation to change the way in which its members are appointed and to strengthen its internal governance and adherence to procedures.

“We also need to see wider changes to the planning system including the repeal of the mandatory ministerial guidelines on apartment standards and building heights, adequate resourcing of An Bord Pleanála to ensure timely decisions, statutory timelines for decisions.

“We must also see a dedicated and resourced Planning and Environmental Court to ensure that legal challenges are dealt with in an appropriate time frame.”

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