Time is of the essence


Sir, – Verona Murphy TD wants the Minister for Housing to remove the planning regulator who, she claims, is out of control and is intent on “shutting” rural areas. Exhibit A for the prosecution is “the last great Stalinist sentence in his missive” requiring the chief executive of Wexford county council “to confirm his recommendations and respond within five working days, an outrageous demand and an assault on rural democracy” (“Planning regulator denies ‘Stalinist’ approach to rural housing”, News, May 5th).

It is not clear to this reader whether the outrage and the assault are occasioned by the request that the regulator’s recommendations be confirmed or that this be done within five working days.

I’m fairly certain that Uncle Joe’s minions had the good sense not to wait for five days, much less five working days, before confirming his recommendations.

But I can appreciate how a request that anything be done within five days, working or otherwise, might be seen as outrageous. On May 4th, Barry O’Halloran (“Permit delays at Department of Agriculture are squeezing timber supplies”, Business) reported that it is taking officials in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine 11.93 months to issue tree-felling licences and more than nine months to reach a final decision on tree planting. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.