Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010

22.

Amendment of section 31A of Principal Act.

22.— The Principal Act is amended by the substitution of the following for section 31A (inserted by section 93 of the Act of 2008):

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

( a) a regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be, in making the regional planning guidelines has ignored, or has not taken sufficient account of submissions or observations made by the Minister to the regional authority or authorities under section 24 or 26,

( b) the regional planning guidelines fail to provide a long-term strategic planning framework for the development of the region or regions, as the case may be, in respect of which they are made, in accordance with the principles of proper planning and sustainable development,

( c) the regional planning guidelines are not in compliance with the requirements of this Act, or

( d) if applicable, in relation to a regional authority or authorities whose regional area or part thereof is in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) that the guidelines are not consistent with the transport strategy of the National Transport Authority,

the Minister may, in accordance with this section, for stated reasons direct a regional authority or authorities, as the case may be, 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 regional authority or regional authorities, as the case may be, notwithstanding anything contained in Chapter III of this Part, shall comply with that direction and the Manager or 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 regional authority or regional authorities, as the case may be, no later than 4 weeks after the guidelines are made.

(4) The notice referred to in subsection (3) shall, for stated reasons, inform the regional authority or regional authorities, as the case may be, 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 regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be, to take certain measures specified in the notice in order to ensure that the regional planning guidelines are in compliance with the requirements of this Act and to provide a long-term strategic planning framework for the development of the region, or regions, as the case may be, in accordance with the principles of proper planning and sustainable development,

( c) the part of the regional planning guidelines that by virtue of the issuing of the notice shall be taken not to have come into effect, and

( d) if applicable, requiring the regional authority or authorities, as the case may be, to take measures specified in the notice to ensure that the plan is in compliance with the transport strategy of the National Transport Authority.

(5) The Minister shall furnish a copy of the notice referred to in subsection (3) to the regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be, and the National Transport Authority.

(6) ( a) Notwithstanding anything contained in Chapter III, or any matter prescribed thereunder, regional planning guidelines shall not have effect in accordance with that Chapter in relation to a matter contained in the guidelines which is referred to in a notice under subsection (3).

( b) If a part of guidelines proposed to be replaced under section 26 contains a matter that corresponds to any matter contained in those guidelines which are 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 director of the regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be, shall publish notice of the draft direction in at least one newspaper circulating in the area of the regional authority, or authorities, 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 regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be, during such period and shall be taken into consideration by the Minister before he or she directs the regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be, pursuant to this section.

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

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

( a) summarise the views of any person who made submissions or observations to the regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be,

( b) summarise the views of and recommendations (if any) made by the members of the regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be,

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

(10) The members of the regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be, 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 regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be,

( c) may consult with 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 regional authority, or authorities, as the case may be, 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 regional planning guidelines, or, if appropriate, to constitute the guidelines.

(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 Regional authority or authorities, as the case may be, the authority or authorities 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).”.