Dáil Éireann - Volume 580 - 17 February, 2004

Written Answers - Planning Issues.

  477. Dr. Cowley asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when the promised guidelines on planning will be introduced to give greater equity to rural dwellers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4656/04]

  Mr. Cullen: I refer to the reply to Question No. 291 of 11 February 2004.

  478. Dr. Cowley asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when the new planning Bill, as promised by him, will be introduced; if the new Bill will deal with third party objections from all parts of the world; if it will deal with the criminalising of hoax letters of objection; if it will deal with the need to give a group (details supplied) the same status as An Taisce in planning matters; if it will deal with the perceived lack of democracy in the planning system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4657/04]

  Mr. Cullen: I intend to bring draft legislative proposals to Government in the coming weeks to streamline the consent process for major infrastructural projects. While it would be inappropriate in advance of the Government considering these proposals to elaborate on their details, it is intended to reduce the time required for obtaining development consent for necessary major public projects and to co-ordinate and streamline the different procedures now involved, while respecting the requirements of environment and heritage protection and the need for adequate public consultation. In addition, my Department is currently reviewing the planning and development regulations 2001, to ensure that they achieve the aim of streamlining the planning system. I will shortly publish guidelines in relation to rural housing.