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Better co-ordination in planning and development and Irish Water investment to be assured in new guidelines published by Minister Damien English TD

Published on Thursday, 18 Jan 2018
Aire Stáit Damien English TD

The Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Damien English, T.D., today 18th January 2018, published draft Water Services - Guidelines for Planning Authorities for consultation.

Planning for future development in tandem with investment in our country’s water services is a national priority because water infrastructure is fundamentally and centrally enabling in meeting the needs of our growing economy across the regions, of our people and their health and the protection and enhancement of the quality of our environment and ensures public health.

New statutory guidelines on the interactions between Ireland’s planning process and Irish Water will benefit a more joined up approach to securing both proper planning and an effective water services network.

Minister English stated that:

“Following the conclusion of the work of the Joint Committee on the Future of Funding of Domestic Water Services, the publication of these draft Guidelines is a big step forward in ensuring both Irish Water and our planning processes are working in tandem with each other for the benefit of our country, our regions and our communities”.

The Minister highlighted that the importance of planning authorities working in the knowledge that water infrastructure can and will be provided when making planning policy and decisions.

The draft Guidelines are therefore intended to provide best practice guidance in relation to the interface between the planning and development functions provided by planning authorities and the delivery of public services by Irish Water.

The draft Guidelines also offer clear guidance on how Irish Water will interact with the planning process in the provision of this critical infrastructure.

Minister English added:

“Water services infrastructure costs hundreds of millions of euro that both taxpayers and commercial water customers have to pay for, so it is crucial that both local authorities and our national public water utility work together to ensure that they are in sync with each other and that both future investment is supporting an effective planning process and planning decisions are grounded in the reality of water services investment delivery”

Planning authorities, public bodies and other interested parties will have until Wednesday 28th February 2018 to make submissions in relation to the Guidelines.  Following consideration of proposed amendments/alterations the revised guidelines will be published under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended).  In the interests of clarity, however, these Guidelines as published today 17th January 2018 are issued under section 28 of the Act whereby Planning Authorities and An Bord Pleanála are required to have regard to these Guidelines in the course of carrying out their functions.

The draft guidelines are available on the consultation page.

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