LIMERICK Minister of State Niall Collins has called for the country’s ‘dysfunctional’ planning board to be scrapped over delays to large infrastructure projects.
The County Limerick Fianna Fáil TD’s comments came as Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that new laws are on the way for the recruitment of new members to An Bord Pleanála.
This followed the resignation of its vice chairman Paul Hyde amid claims of conflict of interests.
According to the Irish Independent, Minister Collins said: “An Bord Pleanála has become a dysfunctional organisation and the time has come for it to be scrapped.
“We need to take a whole new look at the way planning matters are processed through an appeals system. It must be a set-up that works in an efficient and expedient manner.”
Minister Collins said an oral hearing had taken place in February 2021 into a proposed €500 million road project to connect the port of Foynes to the national road network.
“Since then, we have had postponement after postponement with regards to a decision. This is not good enough,” he said.
A bypass of Adare would ‘piggyback’ on the new road system, but Adare has become a national traffic bottleneck with up to 20,000 vehicles, including large articulated lorries, jamming through the narrow main street each day.
As well as giving proper connectivity to Foynes, the Government wants the new roads to be in place for the 2027 Ryder Cup at Adare Manor.
“This will be an international opportunity to showcase the country to a world TV audience. Positive publicity about infrastructure would help not alone tourism, but broadcast Ireland as a location for industry looking for a location to get a gateway into the European market,” he said.