Dáil Éireann - Volume 580 - 17 February, 2004

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property.

  210. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Defence his plans for the Gormanstown Military Camp lands. [4741/04]

  Mr. M. Smith: On 1 July 2003, the Government agreed that Gormanston Camp, County Meath, would be among the State lands released under the Sustaining Progress affordable housing initiative.

The intention is that this initiative will be targeted at those who in the past would have expected to purchase a house from their own resources but find that they are unable to do so in the current market. The release of State lands under this Initiative is a critical first step in [241] ensuring early delivery of affordable housing units.

The modalities regarding the transfer of Gormanston Camp are under active consideration in consultation with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, which is the lead Department for the development of the affordable housing initiative.

Question No. 211 answered with Question No. 209.

  212. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Defence if he would acknowledge that a draft protected area order was prepared in relation to Baldonnel aerodrome in accordance with section 36 of the Defence Act 1954 and that such a draft order related to building restrictions of varying extents within four sub-areas around the aerodrome; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4975/04]

  Mr. M. Smith: I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 150 on 16 December 2003 wherein I outlined the position in relation to restrictions on the use of land in the vicinity of Casement Aerodrome.

Following a review of the Department's safety policy regarding Casement Aerodrome in 1999 a revised policy statement, based on the recommendations of the consultants who conducted the review and having regard to the security requirements for this military establishment, was forwarded to South Dublin County Council for incorporation into their development plan.

The security zone and the approach areas (four), which conform to International Civil Aviation Organisation criteria, form part of the safety policy. The various restrictions on development in the vicinity of the aerodrome are, accordingly, reflected in the current plan.

Section 7(1)(e) of the Local Government Act 1991, requires a local authority, in performing its functions, to have regard to the policies and objectives of the Government and any Minister of the Government in so far as they may affect or relate to its functions. The present arrangement which was designed to ensure the safety of military air traffic en route to and from Casement Aerodrome has operated satisfactorily down the years and, accordingly, it has not been necessary to introduce a protected area order as provided for at section 36 of the Defence Act 1954 .