Dáil Éireann - Volume 571 - 30 September, 2003

Written Answers. - Land Rezoning.

  1295. Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will consider introducing legislation requiring local authorities to reveal whether submissions have been made for rezoning land in light of the amount of money being spent on the tribunals of inquiry into planning corruption. [20529/03]

  Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): Under sections 11 and 12 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, any member of the public may, in writing, make a submission or observation in relation to [777] the review of the development plan. Over the course of the review of the development plan, there are normally three opportunities for members of the public to comment on the contents of the draft plan: before a new plan is drafted; following publication of a draft plan and, if the elected members have agreed to include a material alteration to the draft plan on foot of earlier submissions made on the draft plan, when the draft plan is redisplayed. The manager must then report to the members of the authority on the submissions or observations made. In the report, he or she must list the persons or bodies who made submissions or observations, summarise the issues raised by those persons or bodies and give his or her response to the issues raised. These requirements ensure that the process of public consultation engaged in by the local authority when reviewing the development plan is properly transparent and open and there are no proposals to amend them.