Order of Business
29th of March 2012
I ask the Leader to ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to come to the House, not in regard to the household charge, although I am sure he will be before us at some stage in regard to that ongoing debacle, but to discuss the issue of planning permission and how third parties can object to planning applications that are far away from their homes or areas. In England, people must meet certain criteria before they can object to a planning permission, for example, they must be adversely affected, from the locality or prove they will be at some loss in the event of a planning permission going ahead. In a recent case in Kerry, a person who lives 20 miles away objected to a planning permission that would bring 35 jobs to my area in Drumquinna, which is as good as a small factory. This week the other House is discussing the issue of planning. We all know of cases where people object to planning permissions in the hope of getting paid off, particularly professional objectors. They know they will bring the person seeking planning permission to the table and if given money will go away. That issue can be tackled by ensuring legislation is in place to provide that only people who are affected by a proposed planning in their area and can prove they will be affected can object. That is done in other jurisdictions. I propose an amendment to the 2009 planning Act setting out a list of criteria under which objections can be lodged. I ask the Leader to address the issue.