Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Regional, Rural, Gaeltacht & Island Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív has slammed as “totally unacceptable” delays within An Bord Pleanála’s appeals process.

Section 126 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 states that planning appeals should be determined within 18 weeks, however only one third of cases are finalised in that timeframe.

Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “It’s time that the Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government took firm action to ensure that An Bord Pleanála adheres to the timelines laid down in the legislation.  At the moment only 35% of cases are being completed within the 18 week timeframe.

“During the period January to April 2018, the Bord received 713 planning appeals. Only 222 appeals were disposed of within 18 weeks.  This is totally unacceptable and neither An Bord Pleanála nor Minister Murphy has been able to justify these delays.

“There is a saying, “justice delayed is justice denied” and this is true in the case of An Bord Pleanála, where both the applicants and the complainants are held up interminably, as the Board prevaricates on the smallest of decisions.

“These delays have already resulted in the loss of the Apple data centre in Athenry, but this is not an isolated incident.  Projects, both large and small scale are being held up as a result of An Bord Pleanála’s inability to adhere to its statutory obligations and the failure of Minister Murphy to either insist that these targets be met or to allocate the resources to help the Bord to meet them.

“This government’s reluctance to address important issues which impact on communities cannot continue and I am urging Minister Murphy to take action to tackle these planning appeal delays”.