Dáil Éireann - Volume 456 - 27 September, 1995

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Urban Renewal Schemes.

42. Mr. E. Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment the costing and benefits of tax urban renewal areas such as Temple Bar; if he has satisfied himself with existing urban renewal schemes; and if he intends to change these in the future. [12637/95]

Ms McManus: While measurement of the costs and benefits of the various urban renewal schemes is likely to be a difficult exercise, it will constitute an important element of the consultancy which is currently being commissioned in relation to the urban renewal programmes. The consultants will undertake a wide ranging review of the impact of the various schemes which have come into operation since 1986, including Temple Bar. The review will assist in the development of future policy when the current phase of urban renewal designation ends in 1997. I intend to publish the results of the review in due course.

Mr. E. Ryan: Does the Minister intend to extend the time limit on the urban renewal scheme for certain areas, given that she made a decision to extend [101] the time limit in Sligo? Does she intend to single out any other areas? Why did she make a decision on Sligo? May other Deputies mention areas in their constituencies which would be grateful if the time limit was extended?

Ms McManus: The Deputy is aware that there is a time limit on the urban renewal scheme which was brought in last August. Deputies are able to make cases for their constituencies, and are continually doing so.

Mr. Dempsey: What case was made for Sligo?

Mr. McManus: There will not be an exemption for this scheme. The Government made that clear when it made a number of minor adjustments to the last scheme. We did not only include Sligo. The adjustments were made if a building was cut in half by a line on a map, or——

Mr. Dempsey: Or a Deputy's seat was in danger.

Ms McManus: ——a liquidation occurred or there were major problems with an archaeological dig. Specific adjustments were made in specific circumstances. The review mentioned in the reply to the Deputy's question is a major analysis which is being undertaken for the first time. It is almost ten years since the Urban Renewal Act, 1986, was put into operation.

Mr. Dempsey: It is a great idea, but the Minister should have waited until the review was completed before extending it.

Ms McManus: It will be an important review. The Deputy raised interesting points about the value of urban renewal. It has many economic, social and architectural benefits. We need to study the Urban Renewal Act, 1986, and its function. I am pleased to have been able to set up a review, the results of which will be announced shortly. It will probably [102] be nine months before it is completed, but it is an important piece of research and analysis. It will be invaluable for whoever undertakes another urban renewal scheme in the future.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: That concludes Question Time for today.