Dáil Éireann - Volume 610 - 22 November, 2005

Written Answers. - Planning Issues.

  435. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Transport further to Question No. 351 of 15 February 2005 which confirmed that a scheme showing restrictions that were considered necessary for the purposes of air safety at Shannon Airport was forwarded by his Department to Clare County Council, the reason his Department has failed to provide copies of such a scheme to a number of affected landowners who sought details of the origins of the massive invasive red zone over their lands; the further reason there is a culture of secrecy within his Department and associated agencies in relation to the red zones; if in future all details will be provided on request to affected landowners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35355/05]

  Mr. Cullen: As I have indicated in answer to several previous questions about red zones, the responsibility for including such areas in local development plans, and for taking those areas into consideration in planning applications, is, and has always been, a matter for the planning authorities. It is normal practice for the planning authorities to consult the public about changes to development plans.

Because the schemes were an input to the normal planning process there was no legal requirement for the Department of Transport to carry out consultations or notifications of the type mentioned by the Deputy. The Department would have relied on the public consultation requirements of the planning system to take account of public concerns. The Department of Transport did not then, and does not now, have the power to compel planning authorities to apply its recommendations on red zones.