Dáil Éireann - Volume 619 - 09 May, 2006
Written Answers. - Community Development.
Mr. Kehoe Mr. Kehoe
Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the grant schemes which are available to a community group that are interested in having a design plan drawn up for their rapidly expanding village. [16920/06]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: My Department does not directly provide financial assistance to community groups to draw up design plans for their localities.
Under the Planning and Development Act 2000, a planning authority may prepare a local area plan for any particular area within its functional area. A local area plan must be made in respect of an area that is designated as a town in the most recent census of population (other than  a town designated as a suburb or environs) and has a population in excess of 2,000. In making a local area plan, it is open to a planning authority to enter into an arrangement with any local community group for the preparation, or the carrying out of any aspect of the preparation, of the plan. A planning authority shall also take whatever steps it considers necessary to consult the public before preparing, amending or revoking a local area plan, including consultations with local residents and community groups.
My Department organises the national Tidy Towns competition, and provides a substantial prize fund, which this year will exceed €200,000. Local Tidy Towns committees are encouraged to develop a simple strategic plan for their town or village, to co-ordinate their efforts and allow them measure progress made under each competition category. Prize moneys won by a local committee may be used to commission such a plan. However, professional advice is not necessary, and my Department provides appropriate guidance on the preparation of such plans. Financial and other assistance may also be available to Tidy Towns committees from local authorities and other local agencies, such as LEADER groups.
Dáil Éireann 619 Written Answers. Community Development.