Here is my motion from the July full council meeting:
That the council outline and review its public consultation model specifically as it relates to informing people affected by council decisions/planning. Time and again, constituents, significantly and sometimes detrimentally affected by council decisions, complain that they were not informed and were unaware that those decisions were being taken. It is not sufficient to argue that the public must be aware of public consultation notices in local newspapers at all times to ensure that they are not affected by planning decisions. There is a responsibility on the council to ensure that where constituents are significantly affected by a planning decision, especially financially, that reasonable attempts are taken to inform them.
The public consultation model as it relates to informing people affected by council decisions on planning applications is contained within the Planning and Development Regulations 2000-2015. Article 17 requires an applicant within the period of 2 weeks before the making of a planning application to a) give notice of its intention in a newspaper in accordance with article 18 and b) give notice of the intention to make the application by the erection or fixing of a site notice in accordance with article 19. Article 27 requires a planning authority to make available a list of the planning applications received by the authority not later than the third working day following a particular week.
Article 31 requires notification of a decision by a planning authority in respect of a planning application shall be given to the applicant and to any other person or body who made a submission or observation within 3 working days of the day of the Article 32 requires a planning authority to make available a list of the planning applications in respect of which decision were given by the authority during that week.
This planning authority makes this information available on our website each week at http://kildare.ie/CountyCouncil/Planning/PlanningWeeklyLists. This information is also circulated directly to the members on a weekly basis. With regard to the county development plan, every planning authority is obliged every six years to make a development plan. Not later than four years after the making of a development plan, the council is required to give notice of its intention to review its existing development plan and to prepare a new development plan. In accordance with the Planning & Development Act, notice is given to the Minister, any prescribed authorities, any adjoining planning authorities, the Board, any relevant regional authority, etc. Notice is published in one or more newspapers circulating in the area to which the development plan relates with the notice indicating that submissions or observations made be made in writing to the planning authority within a specified period. The members will be aware that, following publication of the county development plan Issues Paper, a number of public consultations were widely advertised with subsequent public meetings held in each municipal district earlier this summer. Information on the development plan is also available on the council’s website. The planning authority is satisfied that it meets its obligations under the planning legislation and at present does not propose to carry out further notification procedures other than those currently stipulated in the planning regulations.