Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has called on Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to state when he intends to publish the Planning Bill.
First announced in early 2022, Minister O’Brien had said it would be published in September 2022 and enacted by the end of that year. Despite having been approved by Cabinet on October 3rd 2023, the Bill still has not been published.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“Seven weeks after securing Cabinet approval for his controversial Planning and Development Bill, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has still not published the legislation.
“First announced in early 2022 Minister O’Brien initially promised that the Bill would be published in September 2022 and passed by the end of that year.
“Since then, the legislation has been beset with controversy. The draft Bill was widely criticised by almost all sectors involved in planning and residential development.
“Despite the Oireachtas Housing Committee undertaking Pre-Legislative Scrutiny in record time the final Bill continues to be delayed.
“Over the summer, Minister O’Brien said that the final Bill would be published in September of this year pas enacted by years end. It was then further delayed and only brought to Cabinet on October 3rd.
“Seven weeks on and it still hasn’t been published. This is highly irregular and suggests there are still issues with the legislation.
“It is time for Darragh O’Brien to come clean, to explain the latest delay and to confirm when it will be published.
“It is also important that the Minister makes clear that he has no intention of trying to ram this exceptionally long and complex Bill through the Oireachtas.
“It is important that we get planning reform right and not repeat the mistakes of recent rushed Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael planning bills that ultimately made our planning system worse not better.”