New land and property agency will be more efficient, Oireachtas committee told

Amalgamation of three existing bodies will datasets and systems, says Department official

Táilte Éireann will supply a range of services including property valuation data, maps and aerial imagery, the committee was told. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Táilte Éireann will supply a range of services including property valuation data, maps and aerial imagery, the committee was told. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

A new State land organisation will work more efficiently than its disjointed predecessors to provide accessible information on property ownership and folios, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

The Tailte Éireann Bill 2020 provides for the merger of the Valuation Office, Property Registration Authority and Ordnance Survey Ireland, through the establishment of a new body called Táilte Éireann, which translates as “Irish lands”.

The Bill being scrutinised by the committee is “largely technical” in nature but is required for the creation of the new, more efficient authority, said Emma Reeves, a principal officer at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Táilte Éireann will support improved national land management by providing citizens, businesses and policymakers with a “fully integrated land, property and spatial information service”, Ms Reeves said. It will supply property valuation data, maps and aerial imagery, she added.

The amalgamation of the three bodies, which is due to take place in January 2022, will streamline datasets, land management mapping and technological systems, said Mary Hurley, assistant secretary at the Department.

It is also proposed, she added, that there will be “significant engagement” between Tailte and the Land Development Agency, which provides for the optimal use of State-controlled land.

The committee heard there is “no plan” to reduce the number of staff currently employed across the three agencies.

Ms Reeves said workers will be based primarily at a new office in Smithfield’s Distillers Building, which remains under construction. However, a number of Ordinance Survey employees will stay at offices in the Phoenix Park where a historic manuscripts store is located, she said.

Head of the Committee on Housing, Heritage and Local Government, Green Party TD Steven Matthews, said it “makes a huge amount of sense to bring three organisations together” for the sake of efficiency and combining skills.