Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010

21.

Ministerial directions regarding development plans, variation of development plans and local area plans.

21.— The Principal Act is amended by the substitution of the following section for section 31:

“31.— (1) Where the Minister is of the opinion that—

( a) a planning authority, in making a development plan, a variation of a development plan, or a local area plan (in this section referred to as a ‘plan’) has ignored, or has not taken sufficient account of submissions or observations made by the Minister to the planning authority under section 12, 13 or 20,

( b) in the case of a plan, the plan fails to set out an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,

( c) the plan is not in compliance with the requirements of this Act, or

( d) if applicable, having received a submission prepared under section 31C or 31D (inserted by section 95 of the Act of 2008) that a plan of a planning authority in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) is not consistent with the transport strategy of the National Transport Authority,

the Minister may in accordance with this section, for stated reasons, direct a planning authority to take such specified measures as he or she may require in relation to that plan.

(2) Where the Minister issues a direction under this section the planning authority, notwithstanding anything contained in Chapter I or II of this Part, shall comply with that direction and the Manager or elected members shall not exercise a power or perform a function conferred on them by this Act in a manner that contravenes the direction so issued.

(3) Before he or she issues a direction under this section, the Minister shall issue a notice in writing to a planning authority no later than 4 weeks after a plan is made.

(4) The notice referred to in subsection (3) shall, for stated reasons, inform the planning authority of—

( a) the forming of the opinion referred to in subsection (1),

( b) the intention of the Minister to issue a direction (a draft of which shall be contained in the notice) to the planning authority to take certain measures specified in the notice in order to ensure that the plan is in compliance with the requirements of this Act and, in the case of a plan, sets out an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,

( c) those parts of the plan that by virtue of the issuing of the notice under this subsection shall be taken not to have come into effect, been made or amended under subsection (6), and

( d) if applicable, requiring the planning authority to take measures specified in the notice to ensure that the plan is in compliance with the transport strategy of the Dublin Transport Authority.

(5) The Minister shall furnish a copy of the notice referred to in subsection (3) to the manager and Cathaoirleach of the planning authority, where there are regional planning guidelines in force for the area of the planning authority, to the regional planning authority concerned and, where relevant, to the Dublin Transport Authority.

(6) ( a) Notwithstanding section 12(17), 13(11) or 20(4A), a plan shall not have effect in accordance with those sections in relation to a matter contained in the plan which is referred to in a notice under subsection (3).

( b) If a part of a plan proposed to be replaced under section 12, 13 or 20 contains a matter that corresponds to any matter contained in that plan which is referred to in a notice under subsection (3), that part shall not, save where subsection (17) applies, cease to have effect in respect of that matter.

(7) No later than 2 weeks after receipt of the notice issued by the Minister under subsection (3), the manager of the planning authority shall publish notice of the draft direction in at least one newspaper circulating in the area of the development plan or local area plan, as the case may be, which shall state—

( a) the reasons for the draft direction,

( b) that a copy of the draft direction may be inspected at such place or places as are specified in the notice during such period as may be so stated (being a period of not more than 2 weeks), and

( c) that written submissions or observations in respect of the draft direction may be made to the planning authority during such period and shall be taken into consideration by the Minister before he or she directs the planning authority pursuant to this section.

(8) No later than 4 weeks after the expiry of the period referred to in subsection (7)( b), the manager shall prepare a report on any submissions or observations received under subsection (7)( c) which shall be furnished to the Minister and the elected members of the planning authority.

(9) The report referred to in subsection (8) shall—

( a) summarise the views of any person who made submissions or observations to the planning authority,

( b) summarise the views of and recommendations (if any) made by the elected members of the planning authority,

( c) summarise the views of and recommendations (if any) made by the regional authority,

( d) make recommendations in relation to the best manner in which to give effect to the draft direction.

(10) The elected members of the planning authority may make a submission to the Minister in relation to the notice issued by him or her under subsection (3) at any time up to the expiry of the period of time referred to in subsection (7)( b).

(11) The Minister shall consider the report furnished under subsection (8) and any submissions made to him or her under subsection (10) and—

( a) where he or she believes that no material amendment to the draft direction is required, or that further investigation is not necessary in order to clarify any aspect of the report or submissions, he or she may decide, no later than 3 weeks after the date of receipt of the report under subsection (8), for stated reasons—

(i) to issue the direction referred to in subsection (4)( b) with or without minor amendments, or

(ii) not to issue the direction referred to in subsection (4)( b),

or

( b) where he or she believes that—

(i) a material amendment to the draft direction may be required, or

(ii) further investigation is necessary in order to clarify any aspect of the report furnished under subsection (8) or submissions made under subsection (10), or

(iii) it is necessary for any other reason,

he or she may, for stated reasons, appoint an inspector no later than 3 weeks after the date of receipt of the report under subsection (8).

(12) The inspector appointed under subsection (11)( b) shall be a person who, in the opinion of the Minister, has satisfactory experience and competence to perform the functions required of him or her pursuant to this section and shall be independent in the performance of his or her functions.

(13) The inspector appointed under subsection (11)( b) having regard to the stated reasons for his or her appointment—

( a) shall review the draft direction, the report furnished under subsection (8) and submissions made under subsection (10),

( b) shall consult with the manager and elected members of the planning authority,

( c) may consult with the regional authority and persons who made submissions under subsection (7)( c), and

( d) shall no later than 3 weeks after he or she was appointed, furnish a report containing recommendations to the Minister.

(14) Copies of the report of the inspector referred to in subsection (13)( d) shall be furnished as quickly as possible by the Minister to the manager and elected members of the planning authority, the regional authority and persons who made submissions under subsection (7)( c).

(15) The persons who have been furnished with the report of the inspector referred to in subsection (13)( d) may make a submission to the Minister in relation to any matter referred to in the report no later than 10 days after the receipt by them of the report.

(16) No later than 3 weeks (or as soon as may be during such period extending that 3 week period as the Minister may direct) after receipt of the report of the inspector referred to in subsection (13)( d), or any submissions made to him or her under subsection (15), the Minister, having considered the report, recommendations or submissions, as the case may be, shall decide for stated reasons—

( a) to issue the direction referred to in subsection (4)( b),

( b) not to issue the direction referred to in subsection (4)( b), or

( c) to issue the direction referred to in subsection (4)( b), which has been amended by the Minister to take account of any of the matters referred to in subparagraphs (i) or (ii) as the Minister considers appropriate:

(i) recommendations contained in the report of the inspector referred to in subsection (13)( d); or

(ii) any submissions made pursuant to subsection (15).

(17) The direction issued by the Minister under subsection (16) is deemed to have immediate effect and its terms are considered to be incorporated into the plan, or, if appropriate, to constitute the plan.

(18) The Minister shall cause a copy of a direction issued under subsection (16) to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(19) As soon as may be after a direction is issued to a planning authority under subsection (16), the planning authority shall make the direction so issued available for inspection by members of the public, during office hours of the authority, at the offices of the authority, and may also make the direction available by placing it on the authority’s website or otherwise in electronic form.

(20) The Minister shall publish or cause to be published in such manner as he or she considers appropriate directions issued under subsection (16).”.