1353. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his Department has sanctioned funding to an association (details supplied) to fund the purchase of houses yet to be built at Rhebogue, Limerick city; the amount of funding that was sought; the amount that was approved; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the number of houses will be less than the amount for which funding was originally sought as a result of a planning decision by Limerick City and County Council; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that the houses that were specifically proposed for persons with a disability have been removed from the scheme; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is widespread opposition to this proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46860/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department gave approval-in-principle for the development of special needs social housing at Rhebogue at a cost of €3.8m.  This approval was subject to planning permission and to the successful advancement of the project on technical and cost grounds.  The costs sought initially for the project were €3.9m.

The advancement of this project, including the planning permission and all other aspects, is a matter for the approved housing body and for Limerick City & County Council in the first instance.  I understand that the Council, as the planning authority, has recently granted planning permission for 17 new social homes, 4 less than originally sought.

All housing projects are subject to planning permission and while I am keen that the maximum delivery for social housing is achieved, there is a balance to be struck with regard to planning issues which is the responsibility of the planning authority.