Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson Darragh O’Brien has stated additional steps are needed to address the rapidly worsening delays in An Bord Pleanála.

PQ Data received by Deputy O’Brien has confirmed that the completion rate for reaching a final decision on a planning application within the 18 week statutory time frame has fallen from 79% in 2016 to 64% in 2017 to 38% of cases currently up to the end of October 2018.

Deputy O’Brien stated, “Under the Planning and Development Act 2000, An Bord Pleanála has a statutory objective to determine planning appeals within 18 weeks. However we are witnessing rapidly escalating delays with the legal timeframe completion rate collapsing by over half over the past two years. This is despite government promises on additional resources being enough to meet the increased workload on the organisation.

“Last week, I raised this issue in the Dáil with the Minister as the mounting delays are becoming more and more evident. I have been contacted by several builders about undue delays that are frustrating their plans to put bricks and mortar in the ground. These lengthening delays are hiking up costs for builders and preventing badly needed homes from being delivered. This, in the midst of a national housing crisis, is unacceptable.

“There are a number of quick measures that the Minister should take to address delays. He should quickly move to expand the number of board members and reduce the quorum for decisions on smaller developments in order to expedite decision making. Additional staff and resources should also be rolled out quickly in order to ensure An Bord Pleanála is fully equipped to undertake its role in addressing the housing crisis,” concluded O’Brien.