Source: Sinn Féin
Headline: Planning Bill ‘a betrayal of key Mahon Tribunal Recommendation’ – Ó Broin
18 May, 2017 – by Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Planning Eoin Ó Broin TD has
criticised the government for “betraying the planning recommendations of the
Mahon Tribunal” by failing to establish an independent planning regulator with
Deputy Ó Broin said
“The Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2016, which
began report stage in the Dáil last night, has failed to legislate for a key
recommendation of the Mahon Tribunal report into planning corruption.
Mahon proposed the creation of an independent planning regulator with
real teeth. Minister Coveney’s Bill seeks to create a toothless tiger whose
only function will be to advise.
“The Mahon Tribunal concluded that too much power was
centralised in the office of the Minister, that his Department did not have
adequate checks and balances, and that the Minister’s power to provide
direction Local Planning Authorities should be handed over to an independent
“The Government has completely ignored this and has instead,
with this Bill, created a planning advisory body, with limited powers and no
power to independently adjudicate on important planning decisions.
“We are still living with the legacy of bad planning and the
Mahon Tribunal report references the corrupt planning decisions that were made
in relation to Quarryvale and Clonburris in my own constituency. The
local community is still feeling the negative impacts of these poor decisions.
“If this Bill is enacted, we will be left with a regulator
that has no independent power to intervene in order to correct planning
failures or planning corruption. This is a complete betrayal of the letter and
spirit of Mahon.
“Importantly Fianna Fáil deputies have remained silent on
this issue and voted down opposition amendments aimed at giving the regulator
real teeth. The public will draw their own conclusions from this.
“There is no way the Government can stand over
this legislation as it stands. It is not true to the intentions of the Mahon
Tribunal recommendations. I am urging the Government to reconsider its decision
to continue the over-centralisation of power with the Minister and to amend the
Bill at Seanad stage to create a truly independent office of a planning