Parliamentary Question: Planning Issues

Question to the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government (Mr. Alan Kelly, TD)

To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if it is possible for him to direct or instruct local authorities regarding granting planning permission to fast food outlets in close proximity to schools, by regulation; if it would require an amendment to existing legislation or if it would require new legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer

For WRITTEN ANSWER on 28, April, 2015.

REPLY

Planning authorities may, when adopting the Development Plan for their areas, adopt policies to curtail an excessive concentration of takeaways in particular areas.

Under planning legislation, the change of use of any premises to a takeaway or fast food outlet would require planning permission. In deciding whether or not to grant permission for a development, the relevant planning authority or An Bord Pleanála must consider the proper planning and sustainable development of the area having regard to the provisions of the development plan, any submissions or observations received, and relevant ministerial or Government policies including any guidelines issued by my Department.

My predecessor published Local Area Plan Guidelines for Planning Authorities in June 2013. The Guidelines recognise the important role of planning in promoting and facilitating active and healthy living patterns for local communities. For example, the Guidelines suggest that the local area plan can promote active and healthier lifestyles by ensuring that, inter alia, exposure of children to the promotion of foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar is reduced through careful consideration of the appropriateness or location of fast food outlets in the vicinity of schools and parks. I have no current plans to amend the Local Area Plan Guidelines in this regard.

Posted under Children & Youth Affairs, Development, Parliamentary Questions

Parliamentary Question: Site Acquisitions

Question to the Minister for Education and Skills (Ms. Jan O’Sullivan, TD)

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she will provide an update on efforts to secure a permanent site in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Cork; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer

For WRITTEN ANSWER on Wednesday, 1 April 2015.

REPLY

I wish to advise the Deputy that officials in my Department have been working with officials from Cork County Council in relation to the identification and acquisition of a suitable permanent site for new school accommodation for the school to which he refers. A preferred site option has been identified and is being progressed. However given the commercial sensitivities associated with land acquisitions generally I am not in a position to comment further at this time.

Posted under Development, Education, Parliamentary Questions

€200 million for local authority housing will reduce waiting lists in Cork and create jobs – Buttimer

Wednesday, 1st April 2015

  • €200 million allocated for local authority housing in Cork.
  • Funding forms part of the Government’s €3.8 billion social housing strategy announced last November. 

In Cork, over €200 million has been allocated to the City and County Councils for local authority housing. This will greatly reduce waiting lists and provides hope for the thousands of families who are waiting for suitable housing.

Cork City Council is to receive €124 million for local authority housing which is expected to meet 21% of housing needs in the City. The County area is to receive over €80 million, which is expected to meet 25% of the total demand. This is not even including the Housing Assistance Payment which will help to further reduce demand on our housing waiting list.

Along with all local authorities, both Councils in Cork have been asked to bring forward the housing unit targets and specific building projects it has planned for now to 2017. As part of the strategy, targets had to be agreed with each local authority in 2015. It is expected that this funding will help create 2,566 housing units in Cork City and County.

In total across the country, over €1.5 billion will be invested in a combination of building, buying and leasing schemes by local authorities designed to accommodate 25% of those currently on the housing waiting lists in social housing. Approximately 300 separate building proposals by local authorities are currently being assessed by the Department of Environment and will be announced in a number of phases starting this month. Construction is already underway for social housing in approximately 33 sites throughout the country.

Across Cork this funding will help to create and sustain approximately 1,600 jobs in the construction sector which was so badly affected by the economic crash of recent years. This is a really important part of the Government’s plan to spread job creation and economic recovery to all counties around Ireland so that everyone can feel the benefit.

Local Authority

Provisional Funding Allocation

Targets 2015 – 2017

Impact on Housing Need Assessment Numbers %

Approx Jobs Figures

Cork City Council

124,390,671

1349

21%

995

Cork County Council

80,555,618

1217

25%

644

National Total

1,505,351,200

22,882

12043

Posted under Carrigaline, Cork, Cork City, Development, Douglas, Employment, Environment, National Work