The Minister of State at the department of Housing ,Planning and Local Government, John Paul Phelan said he was taken aback yesterday to hear councillors from Mayo county council say they discuss individual planning applications at their meetings.

At yesterday’s monthly meeting of Mayo county council a number of councillors expressed their anger to Minister Phelan over a recent circular received from Minister Eoin Murphy prohibiting any discussion at local authority level by councillors of any individual planning application.

The practice in Mayo to date is to discuss individual planning application that are set for refusal at municipal authority meetings.

The councillors argue that Minister’s Murphy circular is a further erosion of councillor’s powers.

However, Minister Phelan said the circular contains nothing new, rather he said individual planning applications should never have been discussed at a council meeting.

He told Midwest News that he was somewhat taken aback on hearing that it is common practice to discuss such matter at municipal district meetings of Mayo county council.

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