The Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, has told the Dáil that the Government had not downgraded an independent inquiry over planning irregularities.

The department review looked into allegations of planning irregularities in seven local authorities.

Fianna Fáil private members had put forward a motion calling on the Government to re-open the independent inquiries which had been ordered by the previous Minister John Gormley in 2010.

The motion was defeated by 77 votes to 36.

Minister Hogan has said that the Government's review into the planning system in local authorities, published yesterday, was rigorous and would now be subjected to a full independent scrutiny.