The chair of the Oireachtas housing committee has indicated he is reserving judgment on landmark planning legislation approved by the Cabinet, warning against any potential “watering down” of citizen’s rights in the final version. The planning and development bill has not yet been published, with Green Party TD Steven Matthews saying on Tuesday that the “devil is in the detail”. Mr Matthews’ committee conducted extensive pre-legislative scrutiny on the draft bill earlier this year, making 153 recommendations in its final report. While he indicated that an outline of the bill published by the Government suggested many of the recommendations had been adopted, he added: “The devil’s in the detail – there’s a difference between the guide and what’s written down in the legislation.” The final bill is expected in the next two weeks, with focus likely to come on whether access to judicial review has been curtailed, a key bone of contention for some backbench greens and environmental groups.
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