12 January 2016

Fitzgerald proposes new powers for City and County Councils to regulate the planning of new licensed premises

Fitzgerald proposes new powers for City and County Councils to regulate the planning of new licensed premises
 
- Local Authorities to be allowed to include policies in their City and County Development Plans

- Provisions included in new Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill

- Move follows concerns about proliferation of new off-licences in certain urban areas

Frances Fitzgerald Local TD and Minister for Justice and Equality has announced proposals to give new powers to City and County Councils to regulate planning of new licensed premises such as pubs, off-licences and nightclubs.

In conjunction with her colleague Minister of State for Planning, Paudie Coffey TD, Fitzgerald has agreed a proposal to explicitly allow City and County Councils to include objectives in their Development Plans relating to “regulating, restricting or controlling the development of licensed premises.” The making of a Development Plan is a reserved function for elected councillors.



The proposal was drafted by the Department of Justice and Equality and has been included in the Head and General Scheme of the new Planning and Development Amendment Bill published by the Department of Environment, Communities and Local Government.

Fitzgerald stated: “Pubs, off-licences and nightclubs are a normal feature of any town or city in Ireland. However, in some towns and cities we are seeing an unsustainable proliferation of off-licenses along single streets or in historic or tourist areas. This is leading to concerns about the attractiveness and commercial vitality of these areas as well as prompting fears regarding drinking in public places and public order.

“I think it is only right that local councils should have a role in regulating the proliferation of new licensed premises through the Development Plan process.

“This proposed change will provide for greater alignment between the planning and licensing systems and will give communities and residents across Lucan and Clondalkin, through their councillors, a say in local policies on provisions of new licensed premises,” she concluded.

The Heads and General Scheme of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill are available here: bit.ly/1Rdi326