The Minister for Housing and Planning Eoghan Murphy TD is proposing a new Bill which will essentially block citizens and NGOs from taking environmentally hazardous developments to court. With a lot of successful campaigns in the last few years this is attempting to shut that down and shut us up from protecting our environment.
Heads of Bill brought by Minister Eoghan Murphy indicate that the BIll would:
�Change existing cost rules for environmental cases from a system where costs should “not be prohibitively expensive” to a cost cap system that would expose the public and eNGOs to much higher cost
�The Bill would also see a change in standing rights requirements for applicants from “sufficient interest” to “substantial interest”Citizens would also have to prove they are “directly affected" by proposed development & must have had prior participation in the planning process
�The Bill would also severely limit local and national eNGOs from bringing cases by:
✴️Extending the minimum time that an NGO must be in existence before a challenge from 12 months to 3 years✴️Inserting a new requirement that NGOs must have a minimum of 100 affiliated members
Given the context of costs in our Irish planning system, the size and nature of our NGOs and the costs in our courts, the passage of this Bill would be nothing short of extermination of environmental democracy and oversight.
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