Healy Rae Wants Action On People ‘Making A Living’ Out Of Objecting To Planning

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Michael Healy Rae

DEPUTY Michael Healy Rae has called on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O’Brien to substantially overhaul the process of lodging a planning objection as he says some people are making a living out of objecting to peoples planning application with many not living within the country.

“I respect everyone’s entitlement Minister to object, but, you will not convince me that it is fair and just, that a person residing in Donegal can simply pay €20 to object to a young couple seeking planning to build a house in Kerry,” said the Deputy.

“It simply makes no logical sense to me. People are making a living out of objecting to peoples planning application throughout the entire country and it is disgraceful.”

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Deputy Healy Rae said he raised the matter with the new minister in the Dáil last week before challenging him to overhaul the process of objecting.

Apart from increasing the fee, Deputy Michael Healy-Rae also favours restricting objections especially in the case of single dwellings to those directly affected by the planning application.

“If you do not live within or own land within a 5km radius of a proposed development, you should not be entitled to object, why would it bother someone living in Kenmare, what someone in Listowel is doing?” Deputy Michael Healy Rae added.

He also called on different rules for a significant developments for multiple houses or commercial developments.

“Different rules should apply as it would affect more people, so perhaps a 20Km radius would be suitable for that. We have had cases in the past whereby proposed business developments have gone by the wayside due to objectors who were not even living in the same country; they were holiday home owners from America.”

Deputy Michael Healy Rae also wants greater transparency when objections are lodged with objectors having to prove their identity to the Local Authority.

“We had a situation in the past in Kerry whereby it turned out the person who lodged an objection didn’t even exist and we disgustingly had a case whereby the identity of a man who had passed away was used to object to a proposed planning development”.

However the Minister Darragh O’Brien said that they had no proposals to amend the legislation.

One Comment

  1. Matty O'Leary says:

    Deputy Michael Healy-Rae is correct.