Fianna Fáil TD Frank O’Rourke says additional resources are be needed to ensure authorities can process planning permission applications in a timely manner. The Kildare North TD says decreasing the amount of time it takes to process applications is necessary to speed up the supply of accommodation.

Deputy O’Rourke said, “The planning process for housing can be a long and drawn out process as it currently stands. This is particularly the case should requests for further information be made or objections lodged with an An Bord Pleanála. While we need a planning process that is transparent and robust, it nonetheless needs to be balanced with speed in the decision making process.

“The Government and Local Authorities should be focusing on making additional resources available to planning authorities to help reduce the overall timeline in the planning process. Resources should be targeted at the pre-planning stage to reduce the requests for further information. All parties should be aware of what they need to provide to planning authorities at the early stage of the process. This will help speed up the planning process while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the process.

“An Bord Pleanála also needs to be adequately equipped to make speedy decisions when all of the information and facts are to hand. We need to make sure that backroom administrative delays that have arisen due to a lack of resources are not impacting on the planning process.

“I will be raising this matter directly with Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing Barry Cowen and with the Minister for Housing Simon Coveney. We need to make sure that our planning process is fit for purpose, failure to do so will only compound the current housing crisis,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.