Backlog on planning complaints in South County Dublin

By Brendan Grehan

OVER 300 planning enforcement complaints remain open in South Dublin, The Echo can reveal. There are nearly a 100 open complaints dating from pre-2013.

In a reply to a question from Fine Gael councillor William Lavelle, South Dublin County Council said 134 enforcement files were closed in 2016.

Lucan aerial shot June 2016

Cllr Lavelle told The Echo that since December 2015 he has been monitoring the “slow progress” in reducing the backlog in planning enforcement files in SDCC.

He said: “While SDCC is marginally closing more files than it opens, I remain very concerned at the slow rate in reducing the historic backlog. For example there are still 92 open files dating from pre-2013!”

Cllr Lavelle said that much of the delay may have been due to delays with the Public Appointment Services in filling senior legal posts in SDCC.

He added: “These posts are now finally being filled and I hope we will begin to more progress in addressing this backlog.

However, I do have broader concerns at the delays in addressing more urgent complaints which continue to be submitted by councillors and the public. As Chair of the SDCC Planning SPC I have asked for a report on the operation of the planning enforcement function to brought to an upcoming meeting.”

In figures released to Cllr Lavelle, SDCC closed 134 enforcement files from January 1 2016 to November 2016. Of these 25 were from 2016, 31 were from 2015, 26 were from 2014, 19 were from 2013 and 33 were from complaints received prior to 2013.

As of November 30 last, 346 enforcement files were open. On June 10 last, there were 375 files open. On December 14, 2015, there were 404 files open.

The Echo contacted SDCC for a response but they did not reply before we went to press.

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