Friday 24 November 2017

Planning minister says he expects investigations to follow shocking 'Primetime Investigates' programme

Housing Minister Paudie Coffey
Housing Minister Paudie Coffey

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

Minister for State with responsibility for Planning, Paudie Coffey, said he expects a series of investigations to follow into the “shocking” issues raised in this week’s ‘Primetime Investigates’ programme.

The Fine Gael politician told that the actions of a very small number of councillors exposed by the investigation have “undermined the body politic and the good work of councilors all over the country”.

“It’s given the impression to the public that this sort of behaviour is wholesale and that is not the case,” Mr Coffey said.

The Waterford TD said that the Government will next publish legislation providing for the establishment of the Planning Regulator, which will give independent oversight on a range of matters including county development plans and the rezoning of land.

But he admitted that is unlikely the bill will be enacted prior to the General Election due to the current legislative backlog however he stated Fine Gael are committed to enacting this legislation if returned to government.

Mr Coffey said it is important the public can have full confidence in the planning system and said the coalition has done more than any other Government in terms of bringing transparency and accountability to elected office through the introduction of whistleblowers legislation, caps on corporate donations and the regulation of lobbyists.

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