Bord de­lays frus­trates Flow­er­ar­rang­ingdemo de­liv­ery of hous­ing

Fingal Independent - - NEWS - By JOHN MAN­NING

BALBRIGGAN and Dis­trict Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety are hav­ing a Christ­mas flower ar­rang­ing demon­stra­tion by Christo­pher White from the Naul. He is a multi medal win­ner at the Chelsea Flower Show. The demon­stra­tion will take place on Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 13 at 8.30 pm in the Scouts Den Mar­ket Green Balbriggan be­side Lidl. Ad­mis­sion €5 to in­clude tea and bis­cuits and mince pies. DE­LAYS at An Bord Pleanála are get­ting in the way of the de­liv­ery of much needed hous­ing, ac­cord­ing to a lo­cal TD and his party’s spokesper­son on hous­ing.

Fianna Fáil Hous­ing Spokesper­son Dar­ragh O’brien has stated ad­di­tional steps are needed to ad­dress the rapidly wors­en­ing de­lays in An Bord Pleanála.

An an­swer to a par­lia­men­tary ques­tion has con­firmed, ac­cord­ing to Deputy O’brien, that the com­ple­tion rate for reach­ing a fi­nal de­ci­sion on a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion within the 18 week statu­tory time frame has fallen from 79% in 2016 to 64% in 2017 to 38% of cases cur­rently up to the end of Oc­to­ber 2018.

Deputy O’brien re­acted to the fig­ures, say­ing: ‘Un­der the Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Act 2000, An Bord Pleanála has a statu­tory ob­jec­tive to de­ter­mine plan­ning ap­peals within 18 weeks. How­ever we are wit­ness­ing rapidly es­ca­lat­ing de­lays with the le­gal time­frame com­ple­tion rate col­laps­ing by over half over the past two years. This is de­spite govern­ment prom­ises on ad­di­tional re­sources be­ing enough to meet the in­creased work­load on the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“Last week, I raised this is­sue in the Dáil with the Min­is­ter as the mount­ing de­lays are be­com­ing more and more ev­i­dent. I have been con­tacted by sev­eral builders about un­due de­lays that are frus­trat­ing their plans to put bricks and mor­tar in the ground.

‘These length­en­ing de­lays are hik­ing up costs for builders and pre­vent­ing badly needed homes from be­ing de­liv­ered.

‘This, in the midst of a na­tional hous­ing cri­sis, is un­ac­cept­able.’

Deputy O’brien sug­gested a way for­ward, say­ing: ‘There are a num­ber of quick mea­sures that the Min­is­ter should take to ad­dress de­lays.

‘He should quickly move to ex­pand the num­ber of board mem­bers and re­duce the quo­rum for de­ci­sions on smaller de­vel­op­ments in or­der to ex­pe­dite de­ci­sion mak­ing.’

The lo­cal TD con­cluded: ‘Ad­di­tional staff and re­sources should also be rolled out quickly in or­der to en­sure An Bord Pleanála is fully equipped to un­der­take its role in ad­dress­ing the hous­ing cri­sis.’

Deputy Dar­ragh O’brien TD.

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