Keeping up to date with planning in Ireland


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  • The An Bord Pleanala Annual Report and Accounts 2014 was published at the end of September 2015. It provides a useful insight to the workings of the Board in the current climate and the patterns that are emerging. Some of the key elements of the report are as follows.

    The intake of all planning cases in 2014 remained low and static at 1,810 compared to 1,814 in 2013. This reflects continued low levels of activity in the construction and development sectors. The Report notes that “While there are reports of an upturn in the economy, the impact in terms of an expected increase in levels of planning appeals and cases before An Bord Pleanála has not materialised as yet”.

    For normal planning appeals, which constitute the bulk of casework, 83% were disposed within the statutory objective period of 18 weeks in 2014, versus a target of 70-80%.

    An Bord Pleanála disposed of Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on October 20, 2015 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Reports; Tagged as: ,
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  • A report prepared by Future Analytics Ltd for the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has found that there is sufficient land in the Dublin Region to accommodate over 100,000 dwelling units but only a minimal amount of this land has the benefit of planning permission for residential development.

    The key findingss of the report are:

    There are 2,233 hectares (ha) of land zoned and potentially available for residential development, which is 2.4% of the total land area in the Dublin Region.

    This zoned land can deliver approximately 102,500 additional housing units under the minimum recommended density scenario.

    This can result in the provision of housing for approximately 269,000 additional persons.

    There is a minimum housing unit requirement of 35,433 between 2014 – 2018. However, currently there is only a total of granted (extant) planning permissions for 26,580 units, resulting in a shortfall of 8,853 units over the ?ve-year period.

    A breakdown of the figures in the report show that Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council have a serious deficit in terms of the amount of dwelling units which have permission on zoned land, relative to the minimum housing demand. Both Fingal and Dunlaoghaire Rathdown in contrast are in far healthier positions.


    Published on September 26, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Reports; Tagged as:
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  • This Government Strategy seeks to addresses housing, property and construction in a co-ordinated manner. One of the main themes is that of planning with the strategy recognising that the absence of good planning and strategic thinking in past years has served Ireland and its citizens badly.

    The goal is “to secure a proactive approach to planning, in which planning authorities actively engage with land and property owners, Approved Housing Bodies, and infrastructure providers in securing agreed planning goals and outcomes”. This would certainly make for a welcome change from the current situation where many developers and their agents feel that they are battling with the planners rather than working with them.
    It is noted that the following measures are to be introduced:

    • A National Planning Framework (presumably replacing the National Spatial Strategy)
    • A new Planning Bill
    • A new Policy Statement on Planning
    • An Office of Planning Regulation

    The following changes are also to be introduced: Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on May 15, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Reports; Tagged as: ,
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  • Submissions on the Review of Part V of the Planning Act have now been completed (late September) and it remains to be seen what decisions will be made about the future of Part V for the planning system.

    The review of the social and affordable elements of Part V by the Department of Local Government and the Housing Agency was undertaken to try address the problems that exist with Part V and how it will work in tandem with the subsequent introduction in 2009 of an 80% Land Rezoning Tax.

    The review set out six options for the future – ranging from abolition or suspension to a new inclusionary zoning model.

    There is no known date for any final decision on Part V but it will be watched keenly to discover what will be the way forward.

    Published on October 4, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Reports, Residentail, Uncategorized;
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  • The Independent Report on the recommendations in last years Planning Review was published on 8th March 2013.

    The Planning Review, published in June 2012, contained 12 recommendations relating to planning policy and practice which flowed from the analysis of how a range of cases were dealt with by a number of planning authorities. 

    The Independent Report reviewed the recommendations contained in the Planning Review and assessed their appropriateness. 

    The report supports the appropriateness and effectiveness of nine of the 12 recommendations in the Planning Review as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on March 13, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Reports; Tagged as:
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  • An Bord Pleanala has released its Annual Report for 2011.  The report includes a number of interesting insights about the planning appeal system and the overall Irish planning system itself.

    There has been a continuation in the downward trend in the intake of cases, particularly planning appeals, with only 2,110 cases in 2011.  This compares with 4,562 cases in 2002 and a high of 6,664 cases in 2007.

    Overall, the number of appeals received as a percentage of planning authority applications was roughly 1 in every 10 (7.7%). Dublin City Council (14.9%), Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council (14.6%) and Cork City Council (12.4%) had the highest levels of decisions appealed. Areas with the highest rate of appealed decisions overturned by the Board were Leitrim County Council (75%), Wexford County Council (48.9%) and Laois County Council (43.5%).

    The rate of reversal of local planning authority decisions appealed showed a slight decrease with 31% of local authority decisions overturned in 2011 compared to 36% overturned in 2010.  Essentially however, the “1 in every 3” rule of thumb success rate remains valid in terms of an appeal against a local authority decision. Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on October 15, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Reports; Tagged as: , ,
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  • The An Taisce report on planning in Ireland claims that there was enough zoned land at the height of the boom to cater for a doubling of the entire population — up to 8m people.
    A review of planning across 34 city and county councils found that in 2008 42,000 hectares were zoned for residential purposes — enough for 4m extra people on top of the 4.4m population at that time.

    An Taisce further claims that 40% of the €75bn property portfolio transferred to Nama was categorised as “development land” which will be reclassified to agriculture over the coming years. This will result in the value of Nama’s development land plummeting from a paper figure of €30bn to a single-digit figure, costing tens of billions in losses for taxpayers over generations.

    Donegal was found to have had the worst planning record. An Taisce found Donegal had about 2,250 hectares of residential land in 2010, enough for a population increase of 180,000. However, half of planning permissions over the past decade were granted on unzoned land.

    An Taisce subsequently had to republish the report when a significant error was pointed out in terms of how the indicators used to analyse the councils were applied.

    Published on April 26, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Reports; Tagged as: ,
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