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Written Answers. - Compensation Payments.

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 559 No. 6

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 247. Mr. Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Martin Cullen Zoom on Martin Cullen  his plans to review CPO compensation mechanisms. [23520/02]

 248. Mr. Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Martin Cullen Zoom on Martin Cullen  the action he intends to take to address the compensation delays due to CPOs. [23519/02]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): Information on Martin Cullen Zoom on Martin Cullen I propose to take Questions Nos. 247 and 248 together.

A local authority may acquire land for the purpose of performing any of its powers, duties and functions by agreement or compulsorily. It is a basic principle within this process that land owners must get fair compensation and that it should be paid as quickly as possible. The relevant compulsory purchase order, CPO, legislation provides for the payment of compensation by local authorities for lands acquired by them on the authorisation of a duly confirmed CPO.

Compensation is composed of a number of elements: the market value of the land, disturbance, severance and injurious affection. Where a dispute arises about compensation the matter can be referred to an independent arbitrator for [1608]decision. A decision taken by the arbitrator is binding on both parties.

The Planning and Development Act, 2000, provided for the transfer of the Minister's functions to An Bord Pleanála and introduced other changes designed to streamline the CPO process. These include provision for less formal oral hearings in place of the more formal public local inquiries, the confirmation of CPOs by local authorities themselves where there are no objections, time limits on submitting CPOs to the board for confirmation, an 18 week objective for making decisions on CPOs and shortening the period within which local authorities must serve notice to treat to purchase the land from three years to 18 months.

A voluntary agreement in respect of the acquisition of land for national roads under the National Development Plan 2000-2006 between the Irish Farmers Association, the National Roads Authority and the Department of the Environment and Local Government, which was then the appropriate central government Department in relation to national roads, came into operation on 10 December 2001 regarding the acquisition of farmland for national roads. The agreement provides for the establishment of a liaison group including representatives from the NRA and IFA to facilitate its efficient and effective implementation. The agreement also provides for an independent assessment mechanism in cases where the local authority and the individual land owner fail to reach agreement on the compensation package to be paid. A copy of the agreement has been placed in the Oireachtas Library. The NRA has issued circulars to local authorities in relation to implementation arrangements.

My Department has no proposals to alter existing arrangements with regard to the processing and payment of compensation under CPOs.


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