In my experience it has been Councillors and not the planners who have defended good quality planning and the City Development Plan.
So, before President Hind has another go at elected Councillors and seeks ignorantly to seek a further reduction in the powers of elected Councillors losing powers he might bear in mind some facts. In my own area of Pembroke-Rathmines it was Councillors who successfully blocked the building of 110 apartments on a floodplain at Milltown when, disgracefully, the much lauded officials justified it.
When the officials persisted and granted permission it was this Councillor, amongst others, who appealed that decision to An Bord Pleanala, at considerable financial cost and had that permission reversed.
Similarly, in order to protect the few remaining green spaces in our City it was Councillors who persisted in introducing the new Z15 category zoning to protect over-development of Institutional lands.
It was Councillors who amended the City Development Plan so that the flexibility previously allowing some limited residential development on Green spaces, including Floodplains, was removed following the elastic interpretation of that provision by the officials.
In recent months it has been Councillors who have persisted in defending the integrity of the City Development Plan when officials have used every trick in the book to facilitate over development in the Ballsbridge area. I could go on.
I have no difficulty in being “held to account” at the next Local Elections and would welcome President Hinds to meet with me and discuss how we can achieve good planning in this country. Cheap shots and media posturing do no one any good and he should engage with those of us at the coalface in the fight for good planning before sounding off again on something that I suggest that he knows less about than he thinks.