Planning system no longer fit for purpose, says Irish MEP

Seán Kelly made comments while addressing Energy in Agriculture open day in Tipperary

MEP Sean Kelly cited the case of a businessman in the environmental sector who told him recently that he could have a particular project on the ground within a year but it would take five years to get planning. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

MEP Sean Kelly cited the case of a businessman in the environmental sector who told him recently that he could have a particular project on the ground within a year but it would take five years to get planning. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

 

The planning system in Ireland is no longer fit for purpose with undue delays impairing the ability of infrastructure and other projects to be built within a reasonable period of time, Fine Gael MEP Seán Kelly has said.

For people trying to get projects off the ground, “it takes too long. It’s too easy for people who aren’t actually directly involved, who have no stake in it, to object . . . and it costs an awful lot [of money]”, he told the Energy in Agriculture open day at Gurteen College, Co Tipperary, on Tuesday.

He cited the case of a businessman in the environmental sector who told him recently that he could have a particular project on the ground within a year but it would take five years to get planning.

“Our planning system is not fit for purpose. It’s not geared to those who want to invest. Unless we address that, and make it simpler, it’s not going to happen.” he added.

Specifically, if demanding targets to adopt renewable energy by 2030 were to be met, “one of the primary objectives of this Government, and any future government, must be to reform the whole planning system,” Mr Kelly said.