258. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the position regarding assistance to owners of houses that do not comply with fire safety standards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44298/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Fire Safety Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014, primary responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations, including Part B (Fire Safety), rests with the owners, designers and builders of buildings. Enforcement of the Building Regulations is a matter for the 31 local building control authorities who have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under the Acts....

259. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his Department received a request from Sligo County Council in 2017 to increase staffing levels in the council’s housing section; the response of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44309/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Local Authority Staff)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each Chief Executive is responsible for staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authorities for which he or she is responsible.
My Department has not received any staffing applications from Sligo County Council in 2017 to increase staffing levels in the Council’s Housing Section.
 ...

260. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 520 of 17 January 2017, if his Department has completed the framework for a harmonisation of the approach to be taken by local authorities in regard to various aspects of rent schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44368/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Local Authority Housing Rents)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): As stated in the reply to Question No. 520 of 17 January 2017, considerable work has been carried out by my Department in developing a draft framework for a harmonisation of the approach to be taken by local authorities in regard to various aspects of rent schemes, and these proposals were examined further in the light of the broader commitment given in the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness to r...

261. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if there is a prohibition on local authorities purchasing houses on the open market that are vacant and bought on the open market or that have RAS tenants who have been served with a NTQ arising from a landlord selling the property. (Question 44369/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Local Authority Housing)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): As part of the first phase of my review of Rebuilding Ireland, I announced that the funding for social housing  is being reorientated away from acquisitions towards direct build programmes for local authorities and approved housing bodies. 
Where acquisitions are undertaken for social housing use, my Department does not prescribe the exact nature of the properties. In general, these are matters for the local authorities ...

262. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a person (details supplied) applied for the mortgage to rent scheme; if they were refused; if so, the reason therefor; the advice which can be given to this person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44370/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Mortgage to Rent Scheme Applications)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Mortgage to Rent (MTR) scheme introduced in 2012 is targeted at those households in mortgage arrears who are eligible for social housing support whose mortgage is unsustainable and who have very limited options, if any, to meet their long-term housing needs themselves.  It would not be appropriate for me to comment on any individual case but I understand that this particular case has not been the subject of a MTR app...

263. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of planning applications that have been processed to date via the strategic housing development planning applications; and the number of refusals. (Question 44377/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Planning Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 provides for new streamlined arrangements to enable planning applications for strategic housing developments, of 100 housing units or more or student accommodation developments of 200 bed spaces or more, to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála (the Board) for determination.
As part of the new arrangements and prior to making a planning application,...

264. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will provide clarification on the national policy objective 3b from the national planning framework; if this means that 50% of development in the greater Dublin region would have to happen in Dublin city and suburbs or County Dublin; and if it could also occur in urban areas in surrounding counties. (Question 44378/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - National Planning Framework)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 264, 265 and 270 together.
The draft National Planning Framework (NPF) was published at the end of last month and is currently undergoing its final public consultation phase. This is due to end in early November, following which submissions will be reviewed with a view to finalising the NPF before the end of the year. 
In the preparation of the Framework, securing better planning and dev...

265. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will provide clarification on the national policy objective 3b with regard to the meaning of immediately adjoining suburban areas in each of the five cities. (Question 44379/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - National Planning Framework)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 264, 265 and 270 together.
The draft National Planning Framework (NPF) was published at the end of last month and is currently undergoing its final public consultation phase. This is due to end in early November, following which submissions will be reviewed with a view to finalising the NPF before the end of the year. 
In the preparation of the Framework, securing better planning and dev...

266. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the national smart growth initiative will be funded under the existing capital plan 2016 to 2021 and under the capital plan post-2022; the amount of funding that will be available under the initiative; and the planned purpose of the initiative. (Question 44380/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - National Planning Framework)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The draft National Planning Framework (NPF), titled Ireland 2040: Our Plan, was published at the end of September and is currently undergoing its final public consultation phase.  The public consultation phase will conclude in early November, following which submissions will be reviewed with a view to finalising the Framework before the end of the year together with a 10-year national investment plan being progressed by ...

267. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the position in the event that the Houses of the Oireachtas do not vote in affirmation of the national planning framework as approved by the Government; and if there will be scope for amendments to the initial plan and-or future iterations by the Houses of the Oireachtas. (Question 44381/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - National Planning Framework)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 267 and 268 together.
The Government places a high degree of value on Oireachtas guidance and input into the finalisation of the National Planning Framework, and has clearly signalled its intention to honour the spirit of the new legislative provisions underpinning the Framework proposed in the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2017, which is currently at Dáil Report Stage.  This ...

268. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the length of time he plans to give the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government to scrutinise the final draft of the national planning framework before submitting it to all Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas for a vote; and if members of the committee will have an opportunity to make amendments to the final draft of the plan after it is approved by Cabinet. (Question 44382/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - National Planning Framework)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 267 and 268 together.
The Government places a high degree of value on Oireachtas guidance and input into the finalisation of the National Planning Framework, and has clearly signalled its intention to honour the spirit of the new legislative provisions underpinning the Framework proposed in the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2017, which is currently at Dáil Report Stage.  This ...

269. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if local authorities are now taking into consideration benefits from the metro north when determining development levies; and if not, when he anticipates they will do this. (Question 44383/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Development Contributions)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Development contributions are levied by local authorities on the basis of development contribution schemes which set out how contributions are to be applied in respect of developments in their respective functional areas. Section 49 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the Act), provides for the preparation of supplementary development contribution schemes in order to facilitate a particular public infra...

270. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will define all suburbs for each city for the purposes of national policy objective 8 in the draft version of the national planning framework. (Question 44384/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - National Planning Framework)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 264, 265 and 270 together.
The draft National Planning Framework (NPF) was published at the end of last month and is currently undergoing its final public consultation phase. This is due to end in early November, following which submissions will be reviewed with a view to finalising the NPF before the end of the year. 
In the preparation of the Framework, securing better planning and dev...

271. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his Department has undertaken reviews of the potential to broaden the applicability of compulsory purchase legislation in line with the national policy objective 12; the reason and the cases in which his Department is of the view the CPO legislation requires reform; the details of some of the issues with the CPO process and legislative framework as it applies to infill and brownfield development. (Question 44385/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Compulsory Purchase Orders)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The draft National Planning Framework (NPF) was published at the end of September and is currently undergoing its final public consultation phase.  This is due to end in early November, following which submissions will be reviewed with a view to finalising the NPF before the end of the year. 
The draft NPF has identified that a more dynamic approach is required in relation to how land is managed, in particular in urban ...

272. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the expected residential population to be developed in each of the SDZs in the country. (Question 44386/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Housing Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): A maximum total of 39,450 housing units, as set out in the table, is capable of being delivered across the Strategic Development Zones designated by Government, as per the statutory Planning Schemes associated with each SDZ. On the basis of an average of 2.5 persons per dwelling, this would translate to an estimated 98,625 residential population being accommodated within these sites.
    Council Max. Housing T...

273. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will provide estimates by local authority in terms of hectares and as a percentage of total development land, from State land management studies his Department has undertaken in preparation of the national planning framework of lands and development sites owned by the State either directly or indirectly and that is owned by each semi-State, which are vacant in each local authority area (details supplied). (Question 44387/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - State Properties)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): State land management is a core element of the forthcoming National Planning Framework, Ireland 2040: Our Plan, which includes draft proposals in relation to realising a more strategic, portfolio-management approach to the State landbank, in consultation with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. This proposed approach will be developed further in the context of the finalisation of the NPF by year-end.
The dev...

274. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on the inclusion of national policy objective 18b in the national planning framework in view of the concerns over the potential legality of local needs planning criteria for one-off housing; the legislative and policy impacts that will ensue if case law demonstrates that such local needs criteria are not compatible with Articles 43 and 56 of the EC treaty; and his further views on whether the inclusion of this as a core national planning objective could expose local authorities to potential liabilities. (Question 44388/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - National Planning Framework)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Following engagement between the European Commission and my Department regarding the 2013 European Court of Justice ruling in the Flemish Decree case, a working group - comprising representatives from my Department and planning authorities - was established in May 2017 to review and, where necessary, recommend changes to the 2005 Planning Guidelines on Sustainable Rural Housing with a view to ensuring that rural housing ...

275. Deputy Kevin O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Cork County Council is in breach of housing policy by not advertising a recent housing allocation through the choice base letting scheme at a location (details supplied). (Question 44453/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Social and Affordable Housing Provision)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The allocation of social housing support is a matter for the relevant local authority in accordance with the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and associated regulations. Section 22 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 requires all housing authorities, as a reserved function, to make an allocation scheme determining the order of priority to be accorded in the allocation of dwellings to households ...

276. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the impact the decision of Irish Water, which seeks to end the service level agreement with local authorities, will have on the future of the company and on workers currently delivering services under that agreement. (Question 44465/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Irish Water Administration)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Water Services Strategic Plan - A Plan for the Future of Water Services (WSSP), published in October 2015, sets out strategic objectives for the delivery of water services for 25 years up to 2040. The WSSP committed to the preparation of Business Plans by Irish Water to set out targets for delivery of efficiencies in operational and capital expenditure and performance targets consistent with the delivery of the objec...

277. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the ending of the service level agreement between Irish Water and local authorities has implications for retaining water services in public ownership; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44466/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Irish Water Administration)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I have been informed by Ervia (which has responsibility for Irish Water), that they consider that the public water system will benefit significantly by greater integration of operations into the single utility.  Consequently, the Ervia Board has agreed in principle not to renew the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) beyond 2025 (when they are due to end) and to move to a full integrated public utility operations model. A pr...

278. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the steps his Department is taking in collaboration with Dublin City Council and the three county councils to get the 40,000 vacant homes in Dublin back into use (details supplied). (Question 44513/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Vacant Properties)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I wrote to the Chief Executives of all local authorities on 2 August 2017, requesting them to commence the drawing up of Vacant Homes Action Plans for their functional areas and to set ambitious but realistic targets of the number of vacant homes that can be brought back into use, whether for private sale or rent or for social housing purposes. 
As a first step in the process and having regard to the fact that the Census...

279. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to make a State wide assessment of damage done to Traveller accommodation due to storm Ophelia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44514/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Traveller Accommodation)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, housing authorities have statutory responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers and the preparation, adoption and implementation of multi-annual Traveller Accommodation Programmes (TAPs) in their areas.  My Department’s role is to ensure that there are adequate structures and supports in place to assist the authorities in pro...

280. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if funding will be made available through the LIHAF from budget 2018 to progress the port access northern cross route project in Drogheda; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44526/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): A LIHAF call for proposals was issued to all local authorities in August 2016. It was open to all local authorities to apply for funding towards the capital cost of public infrastructure, which, when provided, would secure the early delivery of additional housing at considerable scale and more affordable price points, with developments in excess of 500 units in the Dublin area, or in excess of 200 units in areas outside ...

281. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the proposed housing developments in the Drogheda and environs area that his Department is in active discussions on; the number of social houses the developments hope to deliver; the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44527/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Housing Provision)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Rebuilding Ireland has put in place the funding resources to accelerate the delivery of social housing for all local authorities. Critically, €5.35 billion in exchequer investment has been secured to support its implementation and to deliver 47,000 social housing units through build, refurbishment, acquisitions and leasing, over the period to 2021. This level of national funding to implement Rebuilding Ireland’s targets ...

208. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the position regarding changes to the slurry spreading closed season deadline; if there is now provision for increased flexibility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44096/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Nitrates Action Programme Implementation)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2014, as amended, give legal effect in Ireland to the Nitrates Directive and to our Nitrates Action Programme (NAP). The Directive requires all member states to define set periods when the land application of fertiliser, including slurry, is not allowed and in Ireland the closed season commenced on 15 October.
The closed periods in Irela...