Keeping up to date with planning in Ireland


Use of content from this website for newspaper articles, blogs etc is permitted, subject to being quoted as the source.
Please feel free to volunteer any planning information for the website such as information about new plans etc. Email
Notice: While every effort is made to verify the content of this site, the site owners cannot accept responsibility for the information contained.
  • The new government action plan to address the housing crises has signalled the intention to allow for applications involving more that 100 houses to be submitted directly to An Bord Pleanala. It will be very interesting to see how this will work from a practical perspective. Will An Bord Pleanala now engage with applicants as part of a pre-planning process? How will they deal with technical aspects such as traffic and water services? Normally all these issues are ironed out before an application ends up with the Board or are at least significantly advanced. How long will the Board have to make a decision given they currently take a minimum of 18 weeks? Will there be any increase in Board members which is where the real bottleneck occurs in terms of making decisions? Will there be any appeal process if the applicant is not happy with the decision or will the only recourse be a judicial review?

    Published on July 22, 2016 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: , ,
    No Comments
  • The High Court has quashed the decision of An Bord Pleanala to grant permission for a windfarm development in Co. Clare following a case taken by a third party appellant. The High Court ruled that the Planning and Development Act requires that notice be given to the applicant, any person who made submissions, and any party to an appeal or referral, that a determination has been made that an appropriate assessment is required, complete with reasons as to why – but An Bord Pleanála failed to give reasons.

    Also, the High Court ruled that the An Bord Pleanala determination as to whether a development would adversely impact the integrity of a European site (appropriate assessment) was generic and amounted to only an assertion that ‘Having considered all the material put in front of it, the Board has reached the following conclusion…’. It did not satisfy the legal requirement, as established under Kelly v. An Bord Pleanála [2014] IEHC 400, which found that reasons must be given to enable interested parties and courts to assess the lawfulness of the decision. The Court found that “what is required of An Bord Pleanála are complete, precise and definitive findings and conclusions of a degree of specificity sufficient that a party minded to seek judicial review of such determination can turn readily to the particular observations, reasoning or conclusions in, say, a particular report or text to which reference is made, rather than simply being told that somewhere in an ocean of documentation is some stream of logic that An Bord Pleanála favours”.

    The result of this High Court decision is that Orders issued by An Bord Pleanala are now likely to be more detailed with very precise reasoning included, particularly in respect of appropriate assessment. Given the limited number of persons on the Board and the time involved in drafting such Orders this will place more pressure on the Board and possibly delay other decisions longer.

    Published on June 22, 2016 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: , , ,
    No Comments
  • The Urban and Regeneration and Housing Act which was signed into law in July 2015 came into force on 1st September 2015. Key provisions include:

    Revision of Part V arrangements (applying to developments of 10 + houses with 10% social housing requirement).

    Retrospective application of reduced development contribution charges where planning permission granted prior to new development contribution scheme with reduced charges but was not acted upon

    Introduction of a vacant site levy to encourage development of vacant sites in central urban areas

    Published on September 18, 2015 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as:
    No Comments
  • An Bord Pleanala has published the results of its IT customer survey. The Survey is available to view on the Board’s homepage. The Survey found, inter alia, that an overwhelming majority which to receive correspondence from An Bord Pleanála electronically; there is a need for improved search facilities; clarity is needed in terms of where a particular case is at any time; the ability to access cases received by the Board on-line would be beneficial; the ability to submit appeals etc on-line is strongly favoured and the need for a GIS based facility for spatial searches is also strongly favoured.

    Published on July 13, 2015 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized;
    No Comments
  • A number of important deadlines for Development Plans in the Leinster area are currently nearing:

    Draft Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Development Plan 2016-2022. Closing date for submissions is 11th May 2015

    Review of Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023. Closing date for submissions is 15th May 2015

    Review of Kildare County Development Plan 2011 – 2017. Closing date for submissions is 29th May 2015

    Double check all submissions dates on Council websites.

    Published on April 22, 2015 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized;
    No Comments
  • Two new appointments were made to An Bord Pleanala during May 2014.

    Philip Jones is a professional town/spatial planner. He has a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UCD, and a Diploma in Legal Studies from DIT. He is a Fellow of the Irish Planning Institute, and served as its President for two terms in 1999 – 2001. Philip has 34 years’ experience as a planner in a variety of public sector organisations, having served as Assistant Planner and then City Planner for Waterford City Council for 6 years, County Planner for Kildare County Council for 13 years, and worked with An Bord Pleanála since 1999, initially as Senior Planning Inspector and from 2007 as Assistant Director of Planning.

    Paul Hyde (BSc. Arch, MA, MPlan, MRIAI, RIBA) was the managing partner of the Hyde Partnership, a multi disciplinary design and planning practice until his appointment to the Board. He holds degrees in both Architecture and Planning & Sustainable Development. A professional member of the RIAI, RIBA and IPI professional institutes, he has over 16 years of professional experience relating to the built environment and both terrestrial and coastal development and spatial planning. Paul has also attended a program at Harvard Business School in the area of effective corporate governance. He is currently undertaking an additional masters degree in Marine Spatial Planning. Prior to this appointment, in addition to his role in the Hyde Partnership he has held a number of committee memberships including; The Irish Planning Institute, Southern Branch and The Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, Southern Branch and he was a member of Cork Chamber of Commerce.

    There are now 9 members on the Board including the Chairperson, with each ordinary member holding office for 5 years (Chairperson 7 years).

    Source: An Bord Pleanala Website as updated on 16th May 2014

    Published on May 29, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as:
    No Comments
  • The Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte T.D. has announced that he is establishing an expert panel chaired by retired Supreme Court Justice Catherine McGuinness to oversee the preparation of reports on the best underground route options to compare with the Grid Link and Grid West high voltage power lines currently being designed.

    The expert panel will be tasked with deciding terms of reference for comprehensive, route-specific studies of fully undergrounded options for both Grid Link and Grid West. The panel will be required to ensure that the studies are complete, objective, and comparable to similar studies of overhead options for the two projects, and will report to the Minister in that regard. Both the overhead and underground options will be published side-by-side, in objective and comparable terms, before proceeding to the next stage of public consultation.
    The other members of the group appointed by the Minister are economists John FitzGerald and Colm McCarthy, Engineering Professor Keith Bell, University of Strathclyde and Dr. Karen Foley, Head of School of Landscape Architecture, UCD.

    It is of particular note that there is no planning expertise on the ‘expert board’ which seems very surprising.

    It is also of note that the north-south connector project is excluded from the review on the basis that it is too far advanced.

    It is understood that this will delay a planning application by approximately 18 months. Whilst many believe this is simply a delay tactic to get over the local elections it remains to be seen whether it will end up simply being lip service or prove to be a ‘game changer’ in terms of how electricity is transported in this country.

    Published on January 29, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: , ,
    No Comments
  • Published on December 9, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized;
    No Comments
  • The deadline to respond to Eirgrid’s invite for submissions to the Stage 1 Report on the Grid Link Project (Leinster – Munster) has been extended until Tuesday, 7th January 2014 at 5pm.

    Published on November 26, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: , ,
    No Comments
  • Update to the post on 9th October concerning the Supreme Court challenge regarding the right of an unincorporated body such as a residents group to seek a judicial review. The Supreme Court ruled that an unincorporated group such as a residents group is entitled to seek a judicial review of a decision by An Bord Pleanala.

    Published on October 15, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized;
    No Comments
  • 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;
    No Comments
  • The Strategic Development Zone adopted for Cherrywood at the end of the Green Luas line in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown excludes the possibility of retail warehousing. The net effect is that Ikea will not be able to locate at this location as its stands.  The have appealed the content of the SDZ to An Bord Pleanala along with a number of other appellants including NAMA.

    Published on January 31, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: ,
    No Comments
  • Irish Planning News is now availabe on Facebook.  ‘Liking’ the site will ensure that posts to will immediately update on your facebook account.



    Published on January 16, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized;
    No Comments
  • Offaly County Council are seeking submissions in relation to the preparation of a new development plan for the county. This is the non-statutory phase of the preparation of the initial draft plan and is very important in terms of informing the planners and councillors. Submissions are due by 4th February 2013.

    Published on January 12, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: ,
    No Comments
  • An Bord Pleanala have refused permission for SIPTUs proposed redevelopment of Liberty Hall overturing Dublin City Councils decision to grant permission.

    There was one reason for refusal

    It is considered that the site of Liberty Hall is of national historic and social significance and is located at a prominent and sensitive location fronting onto the River Liffey, within the historic city core of Dublin and adjacent to the Custom House, a protected structure of primary importance in the state. Having regard to policy SC18 of the planning authority, as set out in the Dublin City Development Plan 2011 – 2017, which seeks to protect and enhance the skyline of the inner city, inter alia, and notwithstanding the quality of the architectural design, it is considered that the scale and, in particular, the height of the development as proposed, would be unacceptably dominant in the city, would be visually intrusive in the streetscape and riverscape and would seriously injure the visual amenities of the city and its skyline. Furthermore, the proposed development would seriously detract from the setting and character of the Custom House, would intrude on the O’Connell Street and Grafton Street Architectural Conservation Areas, and other important vistas in the city. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

    An Oral hearing had been held in realtion to the appeal and the Inspector had recommended a refusal for a similar reason to that of the Board.

    Published on November 16, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Uncategorized; Tagged as: , ,
    No Comments
  • A review of decisions on referrals (exemption applications) before An Bord Pleanala reveals that no actual decisions are being made.  The majority of decisions are actually confirmations of referrals which are invalid or where the Board deems they have no jurisdiction.  It would appear therefore that the recent appointment of new Board members is still struggling with the backlog of work and referrals are simply not a priority at this stage.


    Published on May 31, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Comments on Planning, Uncategorized; Tagged as: ,
    No Comments
  • The Minister has signed off on new changes to applications for events requiring outdoor licences.  Now have to apply within 10 weeks of event instead of 16 weeks – effective 4th april 2012.

    Published on April 26, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Legislation, Uncategorized; Tagged as:
    No Comments
  • Demolition of existing Liberty Hall complex, construct mixed-use building part 22 storey, part three storey over two basement levels, 74 bike parking spaces, all site works and services. (Dublin city, first/third party)

     Construction of bio-energy facility and ancillary provisions together with retention and change of authorised use of site infrastructural items. (Kilkenny, first party)

     Retention of existing explosive magazine facility, change of use from private storage to commercial and distribution of explosives, extension of facility by construction of sheds (Kilkenny, first and third party)

     Construction of a 3 storey building to cater for primary care services and associated doctor’s surgery suite at ground floor level with all associated site works (Louth, first and third party).

    Published on March 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as:
    No Comments
  • The population reached 4.6 million in April 2011, the highest level in 150 years.

    Population growth has been very strong despite emigration and the economic downturn, driven mainly by an extraordinarily high birth rate with more than 70,000 births per year.

    Most of the new population growth is concentrated in the commuter belt outside the capital.

    Laois had the fastest-growing population of any county (up 20 per cent), more than twice the growth rate for the country as a whole. Other areas of rapid growth included Cavan, Fingal (both 14 per cent), Longford and Meath (both 13 per cent). Leinster now accounts for some 55 per cent of the entire population.

    Munster showed the slowest growth of the provinces at 6.2 per cent while its share of the population was 27.1 per cent. Connacht grew by 7.6 per cent and had 11.8 per cent share, while Ulster (part of) grew strongly at 10.3 per cent and had 6.4 per cent share.

     The number of people in urban areas (i.e. towns with a population of 1,500 or more) surpassed 2.8 million for the first time.

     62.0 per cent of the population lived in urban areas in April 2011 compared with 46.4 per cent 50 years ago.

     The total number of urban centres increased from 170 in 2006 to 197 in 2011.

     Five towns joined the category of 10,000 or more (i.e. large towns) since the last census (Ashbourne, Cavan, Bettystown, Tramore and Enniscorthy) bringing the total number to 39.

     Dublin city has lost population share of the total urban population at the expense of other urban areas over the past fifty years.  In 1961 Dublin city accounted for over half the urban population of the country with 50.9 per cent living there. In April 2011 this had fallen to 39.0 per cent.

    Published on March 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: ,
    No Comments
  • An Bord Pleanala has refused permission for the N2 Slane Bypass Road Scheme.  The proposed bypass followed a route to the east of Slane Village and measured approximately 3.5 kilometres.  It included a bridge over the River Boyne  approximately 1 kilometre to the east of the existing N2 Slane Bridge.  The Board acknowledged the traffic concerns at Slane Village but refused permission for two reasons.  The first reason related to the  fact that that alternatives to a bypass had not been adequately explored and in this context, the Board considers that the proposed development would have a detrimental impact on the rural character, landscape setting, cultural amenity and archaeological heritage of the Brú na Bóinne archaeological complex, and would be contrary to the heritage protection provisions of the Development Plan. The second reason was that the proposed development of a bypass at Slane would tend to undermine public investment in the existing strategic road network, and would have negative implications for the quality of the environment and road safety along the N2 route. Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on March 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Uncategorized; Tagged as: ,
    No Comments