Cork City Council has published its response to the planning probe launched by then Minister for the Environment John Gormley in 2010.
Mr Gormley ordered the review into planning procedures at six councils around the country, including Cork City Council and Cork County Council.
However, instead of an independent inquiry as requested by Mr Gormley, the current Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has ordered an internal review.
After publicity surrounding the review, Cork City Manager Tim Lucey has written to councillors and given them a copy of the 2010 report the council sent to Minister Gormley responding to the concerns he had raised about planning in Cork.
The review into planning procedures in Cork was instigated following a complaint from Mick Murphy, a Green Party member who was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2009 local elections. Mr Murphy had complained about access to records of pre-planning consultation meetings between developers and planning officials in City Hall.
Based on his complaint, the city council was asked to respond in relation to three specific planing applications in Cork.
They were; a 2005 application to redevelop the Crow’s Nest at Victoria Cross into a 15-storey residential and commercial development; a 2008 application from Beacon Medical for the development of a co-located private hospital at Cork University Hospital; and a 2008 application for an residential apartment block at Farranlea Park on the Model Farm Road.
In their response the city council defended its planning record and said it was satisfied that the process in place for recording information regarding planning applications was adequate and transparent.
Speaking to the Evening Echo today Mr Murphy said he also took a case against the Council to the Ombudsman about access to records of pre planning consultation meetings and that the ombudsman had found in his favour and that details of pre planning meetings are now kept on file with the planning documents.
In his letter to councillors Mr Lucey said he took the decision to publish the council’s planning response due to the publicity the planning review had received.
He also made it clear that the planning issues raised were not in any way connected to the matters investigated by the Mahon Tribunal.
“It is, however, unfortunate that this matter is now receiving a significant amount of media and public comment generally in the week following the publication of the Mahon Tribunal Report. In this regard, you should note, that the issues raised [in relation to Cork City Council] are not in any way related to the nature of matters which were under investigation by the Mahon Tribunal,” the letter stated.