Labour raises grave concerns with planning reform legislation

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
14 December 2022
  • Spin over substance and an attempt to distract from this weeks rushed legislation
  • Draft Bill will give Ministerial power to appoint more members to An Bord Pleanála than ever before

Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has said the Minister for Housing is rushing through deeply problematic planning reforms without any public consultation.

Happening in the last week of the Oireachtas sitting, Senator Moynihan said the proposed changes will are a power grab by the Department.

Senator Moynihan said:

“Labour has huge concerns about the fast tracked planning reform legislation the Minister is rushing through the Houses this week. The Government yesterday made a big fanfare of planning reform without detail and flagged controversial changes to distract from what they are doing this week.

“As part of the draft published, this reform will give Ministerial power to appoint more members to An Bord Pleanála than ever before. This must be teased out and considered in full. It seems to me that the Minister is hoping to distract from meaningful debate of the issues by distracting with an unpublished proposed new bill, that lacks core details. It’s not acceptable. It is doing a disservice to everyone in the middle of a housing crisis.

“The Minister seems keen to sing for his supper one last time. There are more last minute amendments to Social Housing in an attempt to garner internal support for the Minister. However, in the briefing opposition spokespeople received it’s clear that it’s bluster and spin, with officials unable to provide detail of sites, number of homes and time saving. It’s not an actual attempt to fast track real delivery of social homes.

“While the Minister survived the vote of no confidence last night, it’s clear that he is totally out of his depth. We have seen across the waters the long-term damage that can be caused by poor policy planning and a lack of meaningful debate when it comes to a fundamental change in significant legislation. My concern is that the proposed changes to the planning process will set Ireland back years, and end up costing tax payers even more.”

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