Faster decisions needed in planning system

Galway Daily news Letteragh housing estate gets planning approval

Galway Senator Seán Kyne has called for faster decision making in planning applications, as delays are frustrating planning systems and making projects more expensive.

Speaking in the Seanad, the senator said that these delays, particularly due to legal challenges, are leading to an increase in building costs, environmental damage and most importantly fewer homes being built.

“Housing, roads, greenways and wastewater schemes can all be subject to lengthy legal challenges that delay projects, most needed for sustainability, job creation and environmental protection,” said Senator Kyne.

“People are entitled to object as part of a robust planning process and to make submissions in support of projects, but the long delays, sometimes years, before decisions are made are causing frustration and expense.”

The Fine Gael senator highlighted the lengthy process which scuppered the Galway City Outer Bypass as well as the delays which resulted in Apple not proceeding with their project in Athenry.

“The programme for Government commits to a Planning and Environmental Court,” he said.

“I believe this could assist in speedier decision making with specialist judges deciding on applications on key projects across the country and measures to establish such a Court needs to be put in place. I have called for a debate on the issue.”