Dáil Éireann - Volume 638 - 26 September, 2007
Written Answers. - Planning Issues.
Deputy Paul Gogarty Deputy Paul Gogarty
Deputy Paul Gogarty asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the powers at his disposal regarding the creation or amendment of a special amenity area order; if land subject to such an order must already be zoned high amenity or agricultural or if it can already be zoned residential with planning permission approved; if an SAAO amendment or creation requires new legislation on each occasion or other instrument; the special amenity areas created or amended over the past 15 years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19780/07]
Deputy John Gormley Deputy John Gormley
Deputy John Gormley:Under section 202 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 a planning authority can make a Special Amenity Area Order or be directed by  the Minister to make such an order. The legislation does not specify that an area proposed as a Special Amenity Area Order should be zoned for a particular purpose prior to its designation. The making of a Special Amenity Area Order by a planning authority is also required to be confirmed under section 203 by An Bord Pleanála which may confirm the order with or without modifications, or refuse to confirm it.
Under section 202(2) where it appears to the Minister that an area should be declared a Special Amenity Area Order because of:
its natural beauty,
special recreational value, or
having regard to its benefits for nature conservation,
the Minister can direct a planning authority to make an order requiring that objectives specified in the direction be included by the planning authority in the order.
The Act also provides that a planning authority may review an order, from time to time, for the purpose of deciding whether it is desirable to revoke or amend it. Section 202(3) states that an order made pursuant to such a direction shall be revoked or amended only with the Minister’s consent.
3 Special Amenity Area Orders, Liffey Valley, North Bull Island and Howth, have been created or amended over the past 15 years.
Dáil Éireann 638 Written Answers. Planning Issues.