Source: Sinn Féin
30 September, 2019 – by Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has reiterated a call for the government’s “so-called” fast track planning scheme to be scrapped. The call comes as a story in the Sunday Business Post yesterday highlights that no building has started on two-thirds of the 15,000 units approved through the process.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“When this legislation was going through the Dáil in 2016, Sinn Féin was vocal in its opposition to this fundamental change to the planning law.
“The information contained in the Sunday Business Post confirms that we were right to raise concerns as figures show that no building has started on 47 of the 64 housing developments granted fast track planning permission.
“It should also be noted the Department of Housing has questions to answer on how a small number of developers had such a disproportionate influence on planning policy.
“The academic paper by UCD referenced in the media report confirms that this fast track planning legislation was not about speeding up the delivery of housing but by-passing the democratically agreed planning policies of Local Authorities.
“Thankfully this legislation has a sun set clause and is due to expire at the end of the year. The Minister for Housing is currently conduction a review into the legislation with a view to extending it.
“Our view is that this would be a serious mistake and in our submission to the Department of Housing on this we put forward alternative proposals.
“Sinn Féin is of the view that statutory time frame should be put in place for pre-planning and requests for further information and An Bord Pleanala appeals would significantly shorten the turnaround time for planning decisions.
“If these changes were made the developer led fast track planning proposal would be redundant.”