The Minister must explain why he is going to guillotine this legislation with virtually no debate, no scrutiny and no oversight
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien must explain why he is ramming through planning amendments that will seriously limit the ability of the public to challenge decisions of An Bord Pleanála – in advance of reviews of either An Bord Pleanála or our planning laws being published, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan.
“Amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2000, which will seriously limit the ability of the public to judicially review decisions of An Bord Pleanála, were first published late on Thursday, July 7, and are due to be guillotined after a two-and-a-half hour Dáil debate on Wednesday, July 13. This is no way to do business.
“An Bord Pleanála has been mired in controversy for months, because of allegations concerning the behaviour of its former deputy chair, Paul Hyde and other members of the Board. Multiple reviews into these allegations – by senior counsel Remy Farrell, the Planning Regulator and An Bord Pleanála itself – are currently underway.
“Separately, a comprehensive review of our planning laws is also underway, which the government has ostensibly commissioned to inform any forthcoming reform of our planning regime.
“It is therefore bizarre that – before any of these myriad reviews has been completed – the government has published amendments that will significantly limit the ability of the public to challenge the decisions of An Bord Pleanála and intends to ram them through before the Dáil rises for the summer.
“There is no justification for this cavalier and reckless approach to legislating for such a significant matter – seriously limiting the public’s access to justice in the courts. This is especially the case when multiple reviews into An Bord Pleanála, and our planning regime, have yet to be published.
“The Minister must explain why he has pre-empted these reviews and published these amendments at such a late stage. He must also explain why he is intending to guillotine this far-reaching legislation – with virtually no debate, no scrutiny and no oversight – with such unseemly haste.”
12 July, 2022