Mayo County Council has hit back at a report launched by An Taisce this week, which ranked Mayo as the fifth worst local authority in regard to planning decisions. Mayo County Council have also called for An Taisce’s position to be reviewed following the report’s publication, stating that “The report is a further indication of the urgent need to have the privileged position which An Taisce has enjoyed in the planning system reviewed as a matter of urgency.”
The council statement added that the report is “significently flawed” in relation to its methodology, analysis and conclusions.
The An Taisce report attributed examination-type grades to the council across eight different planning indicators, such as over-zoning of land, decisions reversed by An Bord Pleanála, percentage of vacant housing stock, water quality and percentage of one-off housing permitted as a percentage of all residential planning permissions.
Across all eight indicators, Mayo County Council received a total score of 82 which worked out as 30 per cent of the total score available for them - for which they were deemed to have achieved an ‘F grade’ by An Taisce.
However in a statement release by John Condon, Senior Executive Officer for Mayo County Council, the council refuted the report’s findings, stating:
“The Review of Ireland’s Planning System recently published by An Taisce, is in the view of Mayo County Council, a significantly flawed report. These flaws relate to the methodology, to the analysis and to the conclusions drawn.”
The criteria used by An Tasice for their report was also criticised by the Council.
“The criteria used are self serving and biased against rural communities and there is no meaningful level of analysis or balancing for regional variations or historic factors.”
The council also hit out at the scoring method used by the An Taisce in the report which it stated contained discrepancies. “The most significant flaw relates to fundamental internal discrepancies in the report itself where “scores” attributed to each Planning Authority by An Taisce across a range of criteria are incorrectly totalled. Put simply, the final “scores” attributed to each Authority contain elementary errors in simple arithmetic. This apparent inability to ensure the most basic quality control undermines the credibility of the entire report.”