Friends of the Irish Environment have issued proceedings against the Minister for the Environment and the Attorney General seeking a declaration from the Courts that the requirement for the €20 fee required to comment on a planning application is 'null and void' for projects falling under the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

FIE's campaign against the fee began in 1999 when FIE organised a a complaint to the EU about the proposed fee on behalf of more than 60 community and environmental groups.

The European Commission issued a Reasoned Opinion in January 2002, finding the 'participation fee' infringed the EIA Directive.

A Reasoned Opinion is the last stage before the Commission brings a case before the European Court of Justice. Ireland implemented the fee nonetheless. [Read the Taoiseach's garbled response]

Read the submissions to the Minister for the Environment at the time of the introduction of the planning fee.

Fourteen local authorities, including the General Council of County Councils, passed motions to request that the fee would not be implemented. These motions highlighted the poorer decisions that would result as 'members of the public had consistently supplied these authorities with information that was useful and relevant'.

While the Local Authorities do not keep records of the number of objections before the fee was introduced, some have suggested privately that the fee has resulted in a decrease of more than 50% of the objections received. PRESS RELEASE
Friends of the Irish Environment have issued proceedings against the Minister for the Environment and the Attorney General seeking a declaration from the Courts that the requirement for the €20 fee required to comment on a planning application is 'null and void' for projects falling under the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

FIE's campaign against the fee began in 1999 when FIE organised a a complaint to the EU about the proposed fee on behalf of more than 60 community and environmental groups.

The European Commission issued a Reasoned Opinion in January 2002, finding the 'participation fee' infringed the EIA Directive.

A Reasoned Opinion is the last stage before the Commission brings a case before the European Court of Justice. Ireland implemented the fee nonetheless. [Read the Taoiseach's garbled response]

Read the submissions to the Minister for the Environment at the time of the introduction of the planning fee.

Fourteen local authorities, including the General Council of County Councils, passed motions to request that the fee would not be implemented. These motions highlighted the poorer decisions that would result as 'members of the public had consistently supplied these authorities with information that was useful and relevant'.

While the Local Authorities do not keep records of the number of objections before the fee was introduced, some have suggested privately that the fee has resulted in a decrease of more than 50% of the objections received. PRESS RELEASE
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